When it comes to buying bitcoins on the ihgg credit card it’s pretty simple.
You just need to download a QR code, fill out a form, and submit.
This is the first time the credit card is being used to buy bitcoins, but the service is already being used by some of the biggest names in the cryptocurrency space, including BitPay and CoinLab.
The idea is to give bitcoin buyers the ability to buy a product with their credit card without having to travel to a brick-and-mortar store.
But the QR code-based process isn’t perfect.
The credit card issuer is only issuing a QR card for a limited time, and there are some quirks that make it difficult to buy in bulk.
“If you’ve got a high volume of transactions, then it might be a good time to go to the website and buy from a larger number of customers,” said Josh Bostrom, co-founder and chief technology officer at Blockstream, the company behind the Bitcoin protocol.
“But if you’re not going to be using the card for more than a few months, then you might as well go buy a lottery ticket.”
If you’re buying a lottery, you’re basically buying something with cash.
“I’m buying the lottery ticket because I think it’s a good deal,” said Bostroms coworker and former employee Tyler Anderson, who previously worked on Bitcoin Core.
“It’s a pretty big deal, and I don’t think the transaction is worth the transaction fee.”
The Bitcoin community is already seeing a drop in transactions, but it’s not clear how many people are trying to get in on the action.
“When we were talking about getting in on this thing, I thought it would be like buying lottery tickets on the Internet,” Anderson said.
“So it was hard to get a good sense of the numbers.”
A few other big names in cryptocurrency have already tried using QR codes to buy products.
Bitcoin startup BitGo, which has a $500 million market cap, has partnered with Amazon.com to allow bitcoin buyers to purchase an item with their bitcoin using the service.
In the past week, the bitcoin exchange BTC China has been seeing more and more activity from users wanting to buy lottery tickets with bitcoin.
In a recent post, BTC China CEO Wu Yongsheng said that more and better solutions are on the way to make it easier to buy and sell bitcoins using credit cards.
“This is something that has been on the roadmap for some time,” he said.
It’s hard to say exactly how many bitcoins have been purchased with the credit cards at this point, but Anderson said that bitcoin is currently worth around $300.
“You can buy a lot of these items on the Bitcoin market,” he added.
“There’s a lot going on.”
The most popular bitcoin sellers in the United States are using credit card methods to buy goods, but there are also a few places that are accepting bitcoins for less money.
The most notable of these is BitPay, which is based in San Francisco and operates an online payment processor that accepts bitcoin.
The company’s founder and CEO Brian Armstrong said that he hopes that people use bitcoin for its promise of a quicker, cheaper, and more secure payment method.
“Bitcoin has some very interesting features that could benefit the way we transact on the internet,” Armstrong said.
He added that the company has no plans to take the technology public until it has “significant user adoption.”
For more on bitcoin, read our explainer.
Featured image from Shutterstock.