Australian startup Diamond Circle is set to start offering NFC tags that act as Bitcoin wallets, and NFC readers that merchants can use to charge customers in Bitcoins, NFC World has reported.

NFC tags can be affixed to the back of a mobile phone and can be used to store the owner’s Bitcoin balance and their private key.

"They are encoded using our proprietary technology which prevents a ‘man in the middle’ attack — where vital data is stolen or manipulated during transfer," Diamond Circle CTO Stephen Rowlison told NFC World.

The NFC readers are used by merchants to charge customers in Bitcoins, and also provide Bitcoin ATMs to issue new wallet tags as well as top up and withdraw funds from Bitcoin accounts.

Merchants can use NFC reader to read a tag’s balance and transfer the cost of a purchase from a customer’s Bitcoin tag to their own account. Additionally, NFC reader can also be used to load credit onto a tag.

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Rowlison added that the Bitcoin ATMs are designed to be installed in shopping centers to enable users to purchase NFC tags pre-loaded with their choice of Bitcoin balance as well as top up the balance on their existing tag by tapping it to the machine.

The ATMs will accept payment for Bitcoins and will also allow customers to withdraw Bitcoins stored on their NFC tag in the form of a cashier’s cheque.