The Bitcoin system is preparing to join the many digital payment options that fall back on a prepaid card — but is a plastic card even necessary for e-wallets supported by Bitcoin, PayPal, Amex and others?

BitInstant LLC's planned Bitcoin prepaid card is just one of many such products. American Express Co. offers a prepaid card with its Serve digital wallet; PayPal, in addition to offering a conventional prepaid card, also uses a plastic card as an option for its new digital point of sale payment system; and mobile-payment provider Obopay Inc. joined with Visa Inc. in May to disburse funds to prepaid cards in near real-time.

Limited Time Offer

Save over $700 on your subscription. Special offer expires April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

Authoritative analysis and perspective for every segment of the industry