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Coinkite and Virtex trial bitcoin debit cards and POS terminals by Danny Bradbury

Coinkite and Virtex trial bitcoin debit cards and POS terminals by Danny Bradbury

Bitcoin debit cards and point of sale terminals are coming to Canada. Two Canadian companies – Coinkite and Virtex – are about to offer them, each taking a different approach.

The biggest problem getting a physical merchant to accept bitcoin is probably the interface. A lot of small business retailers like the black box nature of a point of sale system.

They can buy it and have it installed without having to know much about it. Understanding the nuances of QR codes, exchange rates and confirmation times is beyond many, as is fiddling with phone- and tablet-based wallets and scanners.

Coinkite wants to bridge the gap between bitcoin and small brick-and-mortar retailers by offering them and their customers a three-part ecosystem: a POS service, debit card, and ‘cryptobanking’ infrastructure.

Why cryptobanking and not banking? Firstly, the Canadian firm doesn’t want to get into hot water with regulators by calling itself a bank, and secondly, it won’t be dealing in fiat currency at all.

“We figured out after talking to a lot of retailers that they want the hard, rugged POS machines,” said Coinkite CEO Rodolfo Novak. The company has experience with iOS development, but he says that retailers find them cumbersome. He added:

“People will start to adopt the tools that they are already used to.”


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This entry was posted on November 4, 2013 by and tagged .

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