Competition for Card Payments Rising – But Is It Old Tech Anyway?

Blockchain For Dummies

Fiat zu Mastercard has opened 175 positions to development of their blockchain integration, Litecoin announced a potential Visa debit card in partnership with TenX, and Amex confirmed a patent for a blockchain based payment system – but how much longer will we use physical cards?

Credit/Debit Card Payments

Fiat to Blockchain

Mastercard began a major blockchain development program last month. They added 175 positions to their R&D center in Ireland dedicated to it.

Visa collaborated with several Cryptocurrency projects looking to bridge the gap to every-day payment use. Charlie Lee Tweeted the potential of a LiteCoin Card to increase LitePay integration.

American Express patented blockchain technology applications.

Discover joined the Chamber of Digital Commerce – a Blockchain advocacy group.

Crypto to Fiat

True credit cards are not currently available in any form through cryptocurrencies. The BlockMason Credit Protocol could potential allow this, but is more concerned with decentralizing existing debts. They released a dapp that is similar to Venmo called Lndr.

Pre-paid Debit cards are being used to bring cryptocurrencies into the technology currently available with POS terminals and online payment processors. TenX and Monaco are both enabled by pre-paid Visa Cards. TenX hopes to gain a banking license to increase the versatility of their mobile wallet and financial services.

MoxyOne is geared specifically toward ICOs with custom branding. The cards are pre-loaded with the tokens and sent to early investors.

Exchange Paid cards are the idea of a pre-paid card, but the “pre”payment happens immediately before payment. This is not always most beneficial to the wallet holder, because of price volatility. Some wallets allow storing fiat. This way the user can optimize when they make conversions between fiat and crypto.

HashCard is pre-ICO until May 1st. This project combines the benefits of a decentralized exchange and the payment capabilities of a debit card. Exchanges from crypto to fiat are made in real time when the user makes a purchase.

Plutus and Change both use a similar method of real-time exchange and are already available.

Satoshi for Satoshi

The inherent value of cryptocurrencies came from the Bitcoin Whitepaper establishing a trust-less means of exchange that never needs a middle man. A third party is inefficient, attracts added fees and reduces security.

Blockchain technology has developed tools for complex transactions far beyond the capacity of Bitcoin, and beyond currencies alltogether. However, the value in those roots remains.

Blockchain technology is a creation in and of the internet. It’s likely that filtering this technology through old mechanisms is causing more trouble than working toward a real solution.

One example is PumaPay, a protocol helping businesses hurdle antiquated payment processing structures to create systems that work best for their needs.