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BitInstant officially announces Bitcoin-based debit card, says it will launch in eight weeks

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Bitcoin transfer company BitInstant has officially announced its Bitcoin-based debit card, which it calls the BitInstant Paycard, and has given explanations for why MasterCard denied knowledge of the project.

bitcoin debit card
bitcoin debit card

Hours after MasterCard quashed rumors that it was talking to BitInstant about releasing a Bitcoin-based debit card, BitInstant has issued its own statement, officially announcing what it calls the BitInstant Paycard. The prepaid debit card will let users spend their Bitcoins at any store that accepts MasterCard, the company says, once they have been sent to BitInstant for holding. The company also maintains that it already has multiple partners for the card's release and that the Paycard will be launching in "roughly eight weeks."

In a blog post, the company explained that MasterCard had denied any knowledge of the plan for two reasons. Firstly, BitInstant says that its unnamed partners, who "have been working with MasterCard for many years," will continue their relationship with the credit card company, rather than going through BitInstant. It also says that "formal negotiations are in progress with the MasterCard affiliate partners prior to full MasterCard submission." Based on what MasterCard has said before, it's not clear how long the submission and review process will take, but it looks like BitCoin is at least officially going forward with its plan to make the "often misunderstood" currency easier to spend.