Australian startup trials bitcoin debit card

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Coinjar has created Australia’s first bitcoin debit card in an attempt to ‘demystify’ the crypto-currency.

The Australian startup began trialling CoinJar Swipe yesterday, the first product in Australia to bridge the gap between the digital currency bitcoin and traditional payment methods. Coinjar is distributing 100 cards to pre-registered CoinJar DNA members. The release included a social media campaign asking members what they would do with a bitcoin debit card. CoinJar received answers ranging from “Pay my bitcoin business bills” to “buy a sausage roll, sauce and an iced coffee for lunch”.

Using the CoinJar Swipe card, customers taking part in the trial will be able to withdraw from their bitcoin account, converted to Australian dollars, at any ATM or purchase items at any retail outlet.

CoinJar teamed up with emerchants, the leading prepaid payments solution provider in Australia, to develop Coinjar Swipe.

Asher Tan, co-founder and CEO of CoinJar, said the Swipe trial was an important leap in taking bitcoin into the mainstream Australian economy.

We created Swipe because we simply wanted to make it easier for our customers to spend their bitcoin,” he added. “Swipe demystifies bitcoin and makes it accessible to everyone through a secure platform. Our team is really excited about Swipe, and we look forward to receiving feedback from our customers.”

Bitcoins are being used by an estimated 500,000 Australians already, says CoinJar, and that figure is rapidly growing. CoinJar alone has processed more than $50 million worth of bitcoin transactions in the past 12 months for more than 30,000 individual and business customers.

The next step will be a wider rollout of the technology in the near future.

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