Mycelium, a well known bitcoin company providing mobile wallet and P2P exchange, has announced their long time awaited card. A useful feature for users is they don't need an internet connection when transacting among each other.
“We launched the card product at the “CARTES SECURE CONNEXIONS” two weeks ago,” confirms Alexander Vasylchenko, CTO at Mycelium, for Cointelegraph. It is the largest global event bringing together the key decision makers from around the world from the payments, identification and mobility ecosystem.
Mycelium allows completing card-to-card transactions as well as consumer-to-merchant transactions. The payment system only revolves around issuing cards to consumers and distributing hubs to merchants. As the system's record tracking and security is based on blockchain distributed ledger, the physical infrastructure is kept simple and inexpensive.
The hub transfers information between the card and the distributed ledger infrastructure and does not contain any sensitive data. A transaction is immediately forwarded to a server, which sends it to the distributed ledger right away. For this reason, data in the card do not need to be encrypted.
Mycelium and other payment systems
An essential difference when comparing Mycelium to other payment systems is its low operational cost. It does not require any network deployment, thus does not cause any network maintenance cost. Its operational costs are much lower than a traditional payment system where the issuer, the acquirer and multiple processors have each to get their share of the interchange fee.
Jack Cheng who is responsible for the media and marketing in ANX International, company that offers a full suite of Blockchain Solutions to the global market commented:
“There's been too much focus on the technology aspect of Bitcoins. This has slowed the overall adoption of these technologies as merchants and business are not technologists and we have seen that things must improve and be made simpler for business and then consumers to adapt. Businesses and consumers are practical and looking for solutions that can help move their business forward or improve what they have today and not necessarily what is the latest technology.”
Unlike traditional payment systems, Mycelium does not need merchants to purchase POS terminals, acquirers to set up servers, processors to build large secure data centers, or issuers to set up complex and expensive issuing processes and hardware. The company says it provides the technology aiming at connecting consumers and merchants in the most simple, familiar, reliable and convenient way.
The main show-stopper these days is the gap generated by regulation frameworks between what society can achieve technically and what it can achieve legally. „This is why the current setup still looks quite complicated compared to what it could be technically: consumers with cards, merchants with hubs and nothing in between besides the distributed ledger.“
Of course, companies providing classic debit cards enabling their customers to pay with fiat money in stores do not share the same vision with Mycelium. One of those is Bit-X. Alex Schultz, it’s CEO, replied via marketing department, that he can’t give official comment, because he considers the product of Mycelium to be entirely different and can't be compared with BitX debit card. But Marco Giovanni, Head of Marketing at BitX, gave to Cointelegraph his unofficial thoughts about Mycelium card:
"You can’t use this card everywhere. It’s not a debit card but rather an actually Bitcoin card (like a miniature wallet). For example: you can’t go to McDonald’s or the Apple Store and buy something with this card, with the BIT-X card you can."