NanoCard development turns exchange account into secure wallet and integrated cashcard

Monday 13 July 2015

A new initiative between CCEDK, Bit-x and other partners has launched the first credit card in the world to be funded at the point of use from the user’s own address. Exchange accounts can now be treated as secure wallets – a feature that also eliminates inactivity fees, amongst other welcome benefits.

Neither the money transfer industry nor bitcoin are perfect. The former suffers from high costs, long delays and restricted or cancelled transactions. The latter avoids all of these, but is not accepted by many merchants in the real world and can be subject to frightening volatility.

It hasn’t escaped entrepreneurs that combining the two systems would achieve the advantages of both whilst removing the downsides. That’s exactly what Danish exchange CCEDK has done, in partnership with forex platform Bit-x. The result is the NanoCard, and what it offers is ground breaking. To provide the perfect service, CCEDK is also overhauling its backend – with the effect that an exchange account will now be as secure as a regular wallet.

Card

Just like a debit card, but bitcoin-funded

Best of both worlds

The NanoCard is effectively a bitcoin-supported credit card, denominated in both EUR and USD. Unlike a prepaid card, the NanoCard is the first card funded by your bitcoin balance as the card is used. Funds are thereby held in bitcoin – decentralised, outside of the control of banks, governments or any other third parties – until they are needed. Combine that with the universal acceptance of major credit cards and you have something potentially very disruptive. As Ronny Boesing, CCEDK’s CEO, comments: ‘It’s like having your savings, checking, and trading accounts in the palm of your hand, accessible from anywhere in the world – with dramatically lower fees than banks and exchanges have ever been able to offer.’

The collaboration with forex platform Bit-x has made this possible. They pack the industry punch to make the card happen, with CCEDK providing the tech and know-how to complete the picture. The implications are profound. The NanoCard represents an effective alternative to traditional international money transfer. You can send the card to a family member anywhere in the world and fund it instantly and cheaply from your computer. The recipient can then withdraw cash, pay bills, shop online or eat out, and the funds drawn on are protected from interference because they’re held in bitcoin until they are needed. (Think how a service like that could disrupt the remittance industry, or offer alternatives to Greek citizens hamstrung by capital controls.)

Security, stability and zero inactivity fees

Along the way, CCEDK are making some changes to integrate the NanoCard fully. For increased security, Boesing enlisted Cryptonomex, a software development company that specialises in blockchain projects. The idea is to use the same blockchain technology that powers bitcoin to provide transparent auditing of the exchange. ‘They will enable us to become an exchange, bitcoin wallet and vault, all in one. You won’t have to worry about our exchange being hacked or whether it is honest or solvent. Everything about our new accounts will be an open book and you will control the keys to your own funds, even while they are on our exchange.’

One welcome side-effect is that the NanoCard therefore allows customers to avoid the current inactivity fees. These would usually be charged on accounts holding less than 5 BTC, unless the customer made five transactions a month. Less active customers are wary about holding that much on an exchange, but the new approach means funds can be stored on a CCEDK account as safely as they are in a personal wallet – because an exchange account effectively is a wallet: there is no difference.

To address volatility, Boesing is adding support for a new generation of pegged assets, built on top of BitShares. These link the value of a digital coin to a real-world currency or commodity. BitShares’ SmartCoins – representing USD, EUR, CNY or even gold and silver – will soon be included as funding options for the NanoCard in the same way that bitcoin already is, to be spent in the real world as fiat, at the moment of use.

‘It’s the combination of technologies that makes the NanoCard so powerful,’ says Boesing. ‘Bit-x, CCEDK, Cryptonomex, BitShares: each provides a part of the puzzle and we believe the result could be bitcoin’s killer app.’

For more information, visit www.ccedk.com/nanocard. This article was sponsored by Ronny Boesing and CCEDK.


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