Mega’s KimDotCom recently tweeted:
I think Kim’s proven himself a real action taker; he’s going to attempt to make this happen… The question then becomes; Will it be useful?
Considering the fact that mega.com didn’t go back up (yet) to the level of traffic that megaupload did, (meaning that the market is a bit shy or scared) I’m a little bearish on this card… Especially because it’s a CREDIT card, as he asked for in his tweet.
If it were a debit card, meaning that bitcoins back a local-currency denomination and any monies you take out of it get funded by your BTC balance, then I’d say he’d have a winner… If he can pull it off.
But as a credit card, I don’t know what to think. You make minimum monthly payments in BTC and it can pay BTC to vendors who take it? Seems like that’d be easy enough to do, but it wouldn’t overcome the limitations that BTC already has… Namely that few merchants accept BTC.
Perhaps he means that you make minimum monthly payments in BTC and it can pay Local currency at floating conversion rate to anyone at all… Which would be one helluva trick.
He wouldn’t be the first to try that though: BitInstant has already said they’re going to do this, somehow. They’ve spilled a lot about their rates and how big their response has been (5k ppl signed the waiting list immediately!) but not a peep about how they are going to pull it off with the banks while keeping these transactions private.
If you’d like to try that card for yourself, here’s a signup form for their pilot program. (Not sure if you’re too late or not yet though.)
Credit Cards are just downright ornery in the first place. Not to mention they tend to get people stuck in bad financial situations, and then they kind of go against the spirit of what Bitcoiners are fighting for by promoting credit use over sound fiscal practices. But even if you look past all of that and there is still demand out there for a credit card here, there are still two problems that I see as impossible to overcome for actual Bitcoin credit cards:
- They obviously wouldn’t be anonymous.
- Bitcoin can’t do Chargebacks.
So considering I can’t be anonymous with them and they offer me no protection at all against fraudulent merchants, you couldn’t pay me to take a bitcoin credit card! I’ll stick with straight debit thank you very much, and for that purpose my phone with an app like Easywallet on it seems even better than a silly plastic card.
Dear Mr. DotCom: If you are reading this, I love you man but PLEASE don’t waste your time on a bitcoin credit card. There are many reasons that it would be a step back for bitcoin, and your considerable talent is far better spent working with bitcoin in a way that anonymity remains intact… Such as on a debit product that puts western union out of business overnight. Good luck.