Bitcoin ATMs are cool, but there aren’t enough of them. Not yet.
Enter the game-changing Cryptex Card, which bills itself as the world’s first prepaid Bitcoin ATM card.
The card, which was announced yesterday at the Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City, aims to make it easier and faster for Bitcoiners to convert their cryptocoins into local currency -- and, more importantly, spend it.
With a Cryptex Card in hand, Bitcoiners will be able to “turn cryptocurrency into cash at hundreds of thousands of ATMs and millions of merchants’ point-of-sales (POS) worldwide, regardless of whether the merchants or banks accept cryptocurrency,” the Hong Kong-based startup said in a release.
Basically, it works exactly like a prepaid debit card. According to The Wall Street Journal, it will “be issued under a license tied to Chinese card provider Union pay, which is accepted in outlets all around the world including the Discover card network in the U.S."
Cryptex claims cardholders will be able to use the card in approximately 80 countries and that it will work at more than 90 percent of the ATMs in the U.S.
The company says it charges a "competitive" exchange rate and did not mention whether that's on top of other ATM usage fees.
So here’s how the nifty new Bitcoin card works. You apply for your personalized Cryptex Card online. Once you’re approved, you can place your order. Now for the fun part, loading it with Bitcoin, which you’ll also do from the company’s website.
When it’s fully loaded with your BTC, Cryptex will snail mail you your very own card, just as any other credit or debit card would be shipped. Cryptex said customers should receive their cards within four to six weeks of ordering them. That’s the only part about the groundbreaking card that isn’t fast, especially if you’re just like everyone else caught up in the hype and want one now (!), not later.
Once it’s in your hands, you can use your Bitcoin ATM card just like you would any other prepaid debit card, instantly like cash. When you need to reload the card with new Bitcoins, the process should take less than 24 hours. Cryptex hopes to trim that time down to “less than one minute by this summer.”
Check out the video.