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Author Topic: Bitcoin Payment Processor/Debit Card [early sign-up open]  (Read 2273 times)
alir
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March 10, 2013, 08:07:42 AM
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NFC (near field communication) Bitcoin Payment Processing
The aim of this project is to provide hardware for making fast bitcoin purchases at POS (point of sale).

This works by storing a public ID associated with a users account in an NFC chip or "KEY". The user is able to load their account with bitcoin, then make purchases by scanning their "KEY" on the merchant hardware, entering a PIN, then awaiting confirmation.

Transaction times will be as close to instant as possible. This is made possible by handling them outside of the blockchain. The service will keep all transactions anonymous.

Prototype

Bitcoin Debit Card

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Support
You can support the project by sending bitcoin to:
Code:
1Bit24iqsYKhD4ZtuQSU5gWEXqb56EUR94

Website
Bitcoin Point of Sale System - BitKey

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alir
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March 10, 2013, 10:01:24 PM
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Updated with pictures.

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March 10, 2013, 10:04:10 PM
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I feel this has potential.

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March 10, 2013, 10:05:28 PM
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Nice.  First to market with something like this that works well and simply will be huge.  

Merchants will be buying so cheap price and small footprint will be essential.

Good luck.
alir
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March 10, 2013, 10:10:32 PM
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I feel this has potential.
Thank you, that's what I am hoping for!

Nice.  First to market with something like this that works well and simply will be huge.  

Merchants will be buying so cheap price and small footprint will be essential.

Good luck.
The goal is to keep it affordable, but still provide a superior service. Your average merchant has to pay around ~2.75% per transaction for credit cards, so anything less means more money in a business owners pockets. Given the very low transaction fees (my goal is 0.5%) the cost of the device itself would be negligible.

There are no plans to charge fees to users, so spending bitcoin will be the same as spending cash!

Mr. Coinman
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March 10, 2013, 11:36:12 PM
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Nice work! New Bitcoin hardware projects are always good to see.

alir
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March 11, 2013, 12:37:56 AM
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Nice work! New Bitcoin hardware projects are always good to see.
Thank you sir! I agree, always nice to see people coming up with new things :)

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March 11, 2013, 12:47:40 AM
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Nice, your project reminded me of this article : http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/2953

Seems like you could combo with a a thermal printer (the sort that till receipts are printed out on) and a button!

That would be essential for physical record of every transaction, making your offer more attractive to potential merchants.

This is smart, keep up!

LaiNZ

They have always known that faith in money is a mass illusion, however they never considered that they wouldn’t be in charge of the illusion - Jon Matonis
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool - Richard Feynman
alir
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March 11, 2013, 02:54:42 AM
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Hey LainZ, thanks for the response. I did consider the idea of incorporating a printer of some sort but I imagine most bitcoin users and merchants by extension would prefer anonymity with their transactions.

It would be easy enough to include options for saving certain transaction data, but that would be up to the users.

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March 11, 2013, 03:00:43 AM
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Do you plan on selling them, or open-sourcing it?

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March 11, 2013, 03:08:16 AM
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Will this also work with a NFC Smartphone?

alir
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March 11, 2013, 03:35:17 AM
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Will this also work with a NFC Smartphone?
Yes, you will be able to use it with most NFC tags. Hopefully I'll be getting a Nexus 4 soon, then I can test with that but it should be very simple.

Do you plan on selling them, or open-sourcing it?
User accounts would be free. The payment processing hardware would be sold to merchants as close to parts cost as possible.

There needs to be a level of centralization for a service like this to be secure, fast, and an easy way of making bitcoin purchases. So for that reason, open-sourcing it is currently not planned.

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March 11, 2013, 03:52:48 AM
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Will this also work with a NFC Smartphone?
Yes, you will be able to use it with most NFC tags. Hopefully I'll be getting a Nexus 4 soon, then I can test with that but it should be very simple.

Do you plan on selling them, or open-sourcing it?
User accounts would be free. The payment processing hardware would be sold to merchants as close to parts cost as possible.

There needs to be a level of centralization for a service like this to be secure, fast, and an easy way of making bitcoin purchases. So for that reason, open-sourcing it is currently not planned.

Understandable. Well again, great work so far!

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March 11, 2013, 01:02:12 PM
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This is a bit of a random question, but you wouldn't happen to have bought these components from the robot shop would you? I swear I recognise some of that stuff from there especially the LED display. It looks great, will remain to be seen whether you can get it too look presentable and work well with normal people though.

http://www.robotshop.com/robot-parts.html

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alir
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March 11, 2013, 03:18:38 PM
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This is a bit of a random question, but you wouldn't happen to have bought these components from the robot shop would you? I swear I recognise some of that stuff from there especially the LED display. It looks great, will remain to be seen whether you can get it too look presentable and work well with normal people though.

http://www.robotshop.com/robot-parts.html
I get a lot of my test components from eBay, they work great for prototyping but I can't vouch for their long term reliability.

Because it's still in the prototyping phase, I'm constantly making changes. At the point where it is as easy to process as a debit or credit card purchase, then I will consider it "presentable". I'm always open to suggestions, so I'll be looking forward to what you think of the progress.

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March 19, 2013, 01:42:05 AM
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I did consider the idea of incorporating a printer of some sort but I imagine most bitcoin users and merchants by extension would prefer anonymity with their transactions.

If you're building a PoS system, then most merchants will want some form of transaction record for their business's books. I think a simple printer would be a plus here.

Join the madness!
alir
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March 19, 2013, 02:12:58 AM
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If you're building a PoS system, then most merchants will want some form of transaction record for their business's books. I think a simple printer would be a plus here.
Anonymous transaction information (datetime, sale total, etc.) can easily be made available online for a merchant account.

I'll consider the thermal printer as an addition, including it by default would unnecessarily drive up the cost of the device.

alir
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May 13, 2013, 03:08:35 AM
 #18

Alright, I have a couple exciting updates for today.

To start the website is up and you can register your interest as a merchant or user. Alternatively you can access the early registration form directly here. We will be making our selection based on the highest density cities of users/merchants sign up's.

I am also happy to unveil the first edition design of the bitcoin debit card!



As you can see it will offer users an easy way to make deposits as well as receive payments straight to their account from others. The NFC chip will be embedded into these cards, but as mentioned before we will also be offering keychains and other trinkets that contain NFC chips.

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May 14, 2013, 06:07:26 AM
 #19

It's beautiful so far, great job!

A few aggravating questions to help you along your path:

1. If Xactions are outside the blockchain, what will secure these things from fraud from a determined thief? Couldn't they just rig up a device to basically send counterfeit bitcoins to them?

2. How are people going to fund these cards? It says "Scan code to make a deposit" on them, but surely you don't expect grandma to figure that puzzle out... What are you going to do to make it easy to fund them?

3. I assume the "account" is created on your server, and you own the hardware that these PINs and codes are stored on? If so, then you're going to face three huge problems as you grow:

  A. Outright theft. -Your servers will literally be worth a lot more than their weight in gold. Both hackers will want to
      hack into them and thugs might want to rob you at gunpoint. Is there any way you can ensure that your system
      never holds addresses or something that makes you less of a target?

  B. Privacy. - A very large segment of your customers were drawn to bitcoin in the first place because it's
      anonymous. If you require accounts on your service, what can you do to ensure that their ID won't fall into
      anyone else's hands, even if court-ordered?

  C. Government theft. - There will come a day when one or all governments will attack bitcoin. Count on it. They
      can't shut bitcoin itself down, but the exchanges and services like this one will be their primary target. Got any
      plans to survive that?


Best of luck with it. I hope to be a customer one day.

-Luke

Coinosphere is the Bitcoin Search Engine, and so much more: http://Coinosphere.com
alir
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May 15, 2013, 12:26:58 AM
 #20

1. If Xactions are outside the blockchain, what will secure these things from fraud from a determined thief? Couldn't they just rig up a device to basically send counterfeit bitcoins to them?
BitKey transactions can only be created from a registered merchant device. This helps us track where transactions are coming from and in the event of malicious activity flat out reject them. The benefits of creating a service from the ground up is that as we think up or learn of greater security practices we can implement them immediately.

2. How are people going to fund these cards? It says "Scan code to make a deposit" on them, but surely you don't expect grandma to figure that puzzle out... What are you going to do to make it easy to fund them?
We are not currently looking into accepting anything other than bitcoin deposits. It's a given that someone understand how bitcoin works before they use our service. The QR code on the debit card will be helpful when making your own deposits, receiving funds from someone else, or using one of the bitcoin ATM machines that are slowly rolling out. The latter would probably be the easiest method for grandma to fund her card.

A. Outright theft. -Your servers will literally be worth a lot more than their weight in gold. Both hackers will want to
      hack into them and thugs might want to rob you at gunpoint. Is there any way you can ensure that your system
      never holds addresses or something that makes you less of a target?
The servers we store our users/cold storage private keys on will not be connected to the BitKey transaction servers in any way. They are two separate systems, one handles the bitcoin transactions and the other handles the credit exchanges between user and merchant accounts. When a transaction is completed at the register, the amount is deducted from the users account and "owed" to the merchant until we process their deposits.

Should the data on either server ever be compromised it will be of no use in the form it is taken thanks to heavy encryption.

  B. Privacy. - A very large segment of your customers were drawn to bitcoin in the first place because it's
      anonymous. If you require accounts on your service, what can you do to ensure that their ID won't fall into
      anyone else's hands, even if court-ordered?
Users do not need to provide any sensitive information to create an account. Unfortunately we can do nothing to prevent negligence on their end but we will be providing them the means to keep their information secure such as multi-factor authentication.

  C. Government theft. - There will come a day when one or all governments will attack bitcoin. Count on it. They
      can't shut bitcoin itself down, but the exchanges and services like this one will be their primary target. Got any
      plans to survive that?
We'll have to go over that when the time comes ;-)

Best of luck with it. I hope to be a customer one day.

Thank you for your questions Luke, I too hope to have you as a customer one day.

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