Readers may recall our interview with Toby Hoenisch, the CEO of OneBit, which uses near-field communication technology to utilize the MasterCard payment network with a cell phone application. A user with OneBit can pay anywhere the MasterCard swipe system is in use, using Bitcoin. For many, an application like this will change the conversation regarding Bitcoin. It will no longer be about whether or not a certain store accepts bitcoins because the app executes the payment in the local currency.
The new alpha version of the application is currently being tested in the various districts that Hoenisch and his company believe will have the most use of it. The company’s website has a background video that depicts a user paying for a sandwich at Subway using the OneBit application. It seems to go off without a hitch, as many Subway locations have long since integrated NFC payments.
At the same time, there have in the past been grumblings about the security of NFC cards and terminals. A common hack for a time, and possibly still in practice, is the act of remotely reading an NFC card’s details using a tablet and some specialized software.
Simply getting the details of a OneBit card would not be enough to steal bitcoins. As with anything, the biggest contributor to fraud would be the user’s willingness to keep unnecessary amounts of Bitcoin in the OneBit wallet. It is never recommended to keep significant sums of the cryptocurrency in the hands of someone else, no matter how much one may trust them.
The company will be announcing a more public version of the software in the coming months.
Featured image from Shutterstock.