8 Major Bitcoin Debit Cards: How Private and Anonymous Are They?

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CoinTelegraph contacted the eight major providers of Bitcoin debit cards with the question: Can Bitcoin debit cards really be private or anonymous? Below are the results, categorized by region and level of disclosure required. Financial privacy: Bitcoin vs. banks One of the main advantages of using Bitcoin over traditional funding methods is privacy. When a Bitcoin transaction is sent, its record is permanent and public on the blockchain, but not tied to any particular identity. Many users, such as those who frequented the Silk Road, prefer Bitcoin for exactly this reason: it’s anonymous and private. However, one of the major challenges of using Bitcoin is the limited number of merchants and services that accept it as payment. Enter Bitcoin debit cards, a product that takes Bitcoin and converts it into currency for use at traditional merchants. The challenge with Bitcoin debit cards is that, by and large, they tend to require the same level of financial disclosure of traditional financial institutions. While this is still an advantage over banks, which can shut down the account of a customer at any time under any pretense (especially under pressure from government), it still does not constitute financial privacy. Full identification (US) Coinbase Coinbase has …

Bitcoin Now More Currency than Commodity: BitPay

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Bitcoin is now being used more as a currency than as a simple investment commodity, according to data released by bitcoin payment service provider BitPay and IBTimes UK. Most BitPay transactions are for gift cards, followed by IT services, e-commerce, food delivery and a relatively tiny number of precious metals transactions. The total number of bitcoin transactions processed by BitPay more than doubled last year from 209,420 to 563,568, a 170 percent increase. The average order value dropped during the same period by more than 45 percent, from $513 to $281. More than 100,000 retailers now accept bitcoin, according to IBTimes UK, including Microsoft, Dell, Wikipedia, Twitch, Greenpeace, Expedia and PayPal. Fifty-three percent of all bitcoin merchants use BitPay, according to the newly released data. North America is still the largest bitcoin market for BitPay, with 57 percent of their global business. The top emerging markets are Brazil, India and Indonesia with rapid growth in BitPay signups. “We see bitcoin being used in emerging markets as a supplement to the current banking and monetary systems,” said Wouter Vonk, BitPay’s European marketing manager. “Bitcoin breaks down the barriers to financial tools that many people in emerging countries are facing.” Bitcoin mining …

Advcash – A New Anonymous Prepaid MasterCard [Recharge it with Bitcoin]

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BitPay signed a deal with online payment solutions provider, Advanced Cash, to offer its bitcoin processing services. Belize-based electronic payments provider, Advanced Cash, has entered into agreement with BitPay, the globe’s major bitcoin payment processor. The deal will help Advanced Cash to improve its bitcoin services to customers all over the world. The company provides a wide range of solutions, including e-wallets, virtual MasterCard and Advanced Cash plastic cards. The benefit of using the firm’s cards is that it implies 0% annual fee. Besides, the website allows users to make money transfers to more than 200 countries globally. The bulk payment feature enables businesses to make mass regular payouts, such as wages, in one batch. In comparison with traditional bank accounts, the company offers easier and cheaper transfer instruments. Given the ongoing expansion of the bitcoin industry, Advanced Cash has to offer effective and reliable payment solutions in order to compete with other industry players and satisfy the customer needs. “We are excited to finally be able to offer our customers an easy and affordable way to fund their e-wallets in Bitcoin and then manage their online funds the way they want. We definitely see a growing demand for this. …

Payment processor Neteller changes company policy to add Bitcoin option

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  Neteller, the well-known global payment solutions provider, has announced the integration of a new Bitcoin deposit feature. A representative for the company revealed that the new option could be launched as early as this Thursday (26th). The decision represents a fundamental change in Neteller’s policy, the site Coindesk reports. The payments processor and prepaid card provider had previously changed its terms and conditions to prohibit “trade, exchange, purchase or sale of Bitcoins, or any other virtual currency.” A press release issued this Wednesday (25th) by Optimal Payments – the parent company that operates the brand Neteller – explains that the process of adding the Bitcoin payment option to the company’s system was handled through a partnership with BitPay. “Neteller already provides merchants and customers a broad and diverse set of online payment options and the addition of Bitcoin gives them another valuable payment method to help convert more transactions,” said Joel Leonoff, president and CEO of Optimal Payments. “We recognise the important role that cryptocurrencies play in the future of payments and we look forward to working with BitPay as the acceptance rate grows.” To avoid any consequences caused by Bitcoin’s volatility, the merchants using Neteller’s system and the new Bitcoin option will be able to immediately convert the cryptocurrency into fiat currency …