According to a press release, Fit Pay said the new device will enable cryptocurrency holders to use their digital coins to pay for goods at retail locations. The device launch follows an announcement in December that the company would expand its platform to include cryptocurrencies. FlipTM uses the value exchanged from virtual currencies to make traditional payment transactions. Preorders for the device start this month, although the company hasn’t announced the exact date yet.
“Flip is a very convenient way to use cryptocurrency value to make retail transactions,” said Michael Orlando, COO of NXT-ID and president of Fit Pay, in the press release. “Not only does it seamlessly exchange cryptocurrency into dollars, it’s contactless, giving users a simple tap-to-pay experience.”
Fit Pay said FlipTM will rely on near-field communication (NFC) to transact payments at any retail point-of-sale location that accepts contactless payments. Additionally, the company said the contactless payment device can store a preloaded amount of U.S. dollars that are exchanged from the user’s existing cryptocurrency account. At first, Flip will only accept value exchanged from bitcoin but could expand into other cryptocurrencies down the road.
“When we announced that we were extending the FitPay Platform to cryptocurrencies, our goal was to leverage our existing technology to connect cryptocurrencies to the payment ecosystem,” said Orlando in the same press release. “That’s exactly what Flip achieves. And it continues to expand our offerings, furthering our mission to fundamentally change the way people pay.”
The news comes at a time when bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency, has been declining in value after surging in 2017. Last year, the virtual currency started around $1,000 and at one point surpassed $20,000. More recently, it was valued at $8,240.