BitInstant may be aiming for a Bitcoin debit card, but it looks like a European Bitcoin exchange will beat it to the punch. After working with French financial regulators, Bitcoin-Central has hammered out a deal with French payment processor Acoba and France's Credit Mutuel bank to become a payment service provider, which allows it to function much like a bank. According to Bitcoin-Central, it's the first exchange of the digital currency to be licensed to operate as a bank and function within the framework of European regulations. Customers will now have funds held under their name -- rather than that of the exchange -- at Credit Mutuel and insured by the Garantie des dépôts, the French analog of the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation). Soon, users of the service will be able to order debit cards that can use Bitcoins and Euros for purchases and cash withdrawals. Yearning for some direct deposit action? In a few months, the organization will be able to accept direct deposits and even automatically convert hard-earned cash into Bitcoins. The virtual bullion has taken its lumps, but this is a development that fans of the currency can be proud of. For more details, tap the bordering source link.
[Image credit: Zach Copley, Flickr]