Smart cards seem to have risen in popularity recently, with the announcement of the well-received Coin card earlier this month being one of the most recent to catch our interest. It’s not the only thing rising either, as the Bitcoin digital currency has also rocketed in value, so it makes sense for someone to bring the two together. Bluenio’s Nio Card is looking for crowd-funding success on Kickstarter at the moment, and will help all those new Bitcoin millionaires spend their fortunes.
The headline feature of the Nio Card is its ability to transfer Bitcoin payments using NFC. A tap of the card against an NFC-enabled smartphone is enough to send or receive BitCoins, and for added security, no transactions are possible unless it’s connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth. No worries about it being stolen and the thief draining your Bitcoin account. As both the card and your phone are linked together, either one will sound an alarm should they drop out of range.
A suite of Nio-specific apps can be accessed on your phone, including ones which control the alert and remote location features, plus customizable reminders and a secure locker for personal information. A software development kit will be supplied to developers, so expect more apps to come in the future. Thanks to various sensors built into the Nio Card, it could potentially become a fitness tracker, or a key to open NFC-secured doors.
In the future, Bluenio wants to sign-up Google Wallet and PayPal, expanding the wireless payments option beyond Bitcoin. However, if a retailer near you takes Bitcoin through a wireless terminal, there’s a good chance the Nio Card will work straight away.
The anodised metal card is 4mm thick and around the same size as a regular credit card, so it’ll fit in your wallet. It comes with 2GB of storage space for any data you’d like to securely store, and the battery should last for nine months before needing a recharge. The card costs $65 and is expected to launch in March next year. Whether your Bitcoins will still have any value at that time, remains to be seen.
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