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Nio Card NFC 'smartcard' can make and receive Bitcoin payments

The ambitious Kickstarter project aims to create a card that can wirelessly send and receive the digital currency.

A Kickstarter project is trying to craft what it claims is the first Bitcoin payment card -- a wallet-friendly device that's capable of sending and receiving the digital currency.

The 'nio Card' is being developed by a company called Bluenio, which says it will have the security-conscious card available in March.

The card itself pairs with your smart phone over Bluetooth 4.0, and can make Bitcoin payments wirelessly using NFC. To stop thieves from making off with your card and spending all your cash, the card must remain linked to your smart phone over Bluetooth in order to make payments.

To become real, the nio Card must reach its funding target of £35,000 within the next 11 days. The project currently has 279 backers, who've raised almost £13,000 at the time of writing. Bluenio says it's meeting with banks it hopes to offer Google Wallet, PayPal and perhaps Oyster Card payments in the future.

Bitcoins are digital units of currency that are 'mined' into existence by computers solving difficult mathematical puzzles. The value of a single Bitcoin recently passed the $1,000 mark.

Because Bitcoin is difficult to trace, its use has been linked to illegal online activity. Confidence in the currency appears to be growing though -- Virgin Galactic recently announced it would accept the currency as payment for its space flights.

If you lose the virtual key to using your Bitcoin currency and don't have a backup, there's no way of retrieving the lost moolah. Earlier this week the Guardian reported that a laptop hard drive with over £4m worth of Bitcoins had been lost in a Newport landfill.

Are you intrigued by Bitcoins, or will you steer clear of this all-new currency? Let me know in the comments or on our Facebook wall.