At Cointelegraph, we try to watch out for technologies that could rapidly enhance the Bitcoin economy, and we've got three here to share now.
The first is called the nio Card, a creation of British startup Bluenio that is currently in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign.
What’s cool about the nio Card is that it would allow instant single-tap Bitcoin payments via a near-field communication link with your smartphone.
Admittedly, the startup’s initial designs were much more modest: Bluenio Co-founder Ben Hounsell originally tried to create digital locators for lost property. As his team began testing and iterating, they realized they had some pretty versatile technology on their hands.
The Kickstarter campaign is less than halfway to its goal of 35,000 GBP with five days to go, at the time of writing. If it reaches its market, Bluenio looks to get its cards shipped by March.
Check out the nio Card Kickstarter campaign here.
Elsewhere, global cash payment processor ZipZap announced at Bitcoin Expo in London over the weekend that it would begin integrating cryptocurrenices into its business model. This means that (pending official confirmation of the project), customers will be able to exchange fiat currencies for Bitcoin at 25,000 shops in the UK and another 240,000 locations around Russia beginning in January.
You can find ZipZap payment centers on the company’s website.
Finally, Mt. Gox is adding an optional extra layer of protection to its customers with a one-time password generator. This will come as a card (cost $39.99 and currently shipping) that users then connect to their accounts. This gives customers the option of having a diversified two-factor authentication in which one element is offline. European banking customers, for example, already have similar cards, but they usually feature 30 or so pre-printed passwords. The Mt. Gox card will generate a random password with the push of a button, and it’s lithium battery is designed to last for at least three years.