|By Marketwired .||
|April 7, 2014 06:00 AM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/07/14 -- INSIDE BITCOINS -- Cryptex, the first global Bitcoin-to-cash ATM and debit card, has announced it will begin shipping personalized cards within four to six weeks to approved applicants, filling a huge hole in the Bitcoin and digital currency infrastructure: the ability 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. This will include any merchant who accepts the Discover card.
The card is useable in 80 countries and is supported on over 90 percent of the ATMs in the United States alone. Cryptex Card will also vastly expand the limited reach of the nascent Bitcoin ATM industry, by providing an existing secure global network and infrastructure through which users can convert their Bitcoins into cash.
The company is based in Hong Kong, but its seed investors include a premier list of global technology investors, including Tero Ojanperä, managing partner, Vision+ Fund and ex CTO and past member of the executive board of Nokia; Ken Hertz, senior partner at Hertz Lichtenstein Young Media Law and early investor in Spotify, Uber and Basis; and Michael Terpin, co-founder of BitAngels and founder of Marketwire.
Bitcoin is transforming the way money is sent across the world, by reducing transaction speeds from a few days to a few seconds. However, one of the major hurdles for the currency is the ability to convert Bitcoins into local currencies after receiving them. Cryptex Card solves this problem.
This marks the first time in the history of Bitcoin that someone can load a debit card from their Bitcoin wallet, then go out and buy pretty much any goods or services globally in their local currency -- using the local ATM and merchant systems already in existence.
"This is a huge development for Bitcoin," said co-founder Jamon Rahn, "because Bitcoin ATMs are sparsely located and Bitcoin exchanges make withdrawal a burdensome affair. We are vastly increasing liquidity and convenience for holders of Bitcoin."
Cryptex Inc. is a new cryptocurrency financial services company founded by payment veterans based in Hong Kong and Singapore. Co- founder Andy Cheung has over 15 years of experience in payment solution systems, working for well-known payment companies and financial institutions such as DataCash, NPS, Transact24, Payment Network International, Focal Payments, and China Payment Services. Cryptex plans to launch other cryptocurrency card offerings and payment solutions.
Consumers will order their Cryptex Card online and load it with Bitcoin, which then gets physically shipped like any other credit or debit card. Cryptex will have the requisite AML/KYC processes for each nation it serves built into this ordering process. Once in the user's hands, it can be reloaded online. When there is an active account balance, using the card is as fast as any prepaid debit card because the balances are already in cash. When it comes time to reload the card with new Bitcoins from the user's wallet, this process can be done end-to-end in less than 24 hours, with a goal of bringing this process down to less than one minute by this summer.
James Foster, the company's Asia-based vice president of business development, will be speaking at the Inside Bitcoins conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Tuesday, April 8.
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