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First bitcoin ATM set to go live

28 October 2013  |  7710 views  |  5 robocoin bitcoin atm

The first bitcoin ATM is set to go live at a downtown coffee house in Vancouver, Tuesday.

The machines - developed by Nevada-based Robcoin - will trade bitcoins for cash.

Users register on the machine via a palm scan and can load up to C$3000 in cash in exchange for bitcoin. The ATMs are linked to Candian Bitcoin exchange VirtEx, which performs the trade and loads the cash into the user's bitcoin wallet.

The palm scan is used to prevent people from conducting more than C$3000 per day in transactions so as not to fall foul of money laundering rules.

Robocoin is supplying five machines to Vancouver-based Bitcoiniacs, a start-up that aims to develop a chain of bitcoin exchange shops across the country.

The company has initially ordered five Robocoin ATMs for $90,000.

Comments: (5)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune | 29 October, 2013, 08:00

Quite ironic that cash needs to be brought into the picture even for a purely digital currency like BitCoin! On a side note, any idea why this machine is positioned as ATM when it doesn't dispense cash? 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 29 October, 2013, 13:30

So why would I want to use hard currency to buy BitCoins?

I know the value of CAD and where I can use it.  Not clear about BitCoins.

Could be an interesting evolution if BitCoins becomes a traded currency.

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Barry Mac
Barry Mac - LSE - London | 29 October, 2013, 21:30

This ATM is bi-directional meaning you can travel to Canada and "withdraw" canadian dollars by exchanging your bitcoin. The way things have been going recently, that means that not only would you not have to pay an FX rate spread and some other exorbitant fees to your bank, you'd probably also have earned an appreciation of the value of your bitcoin holding. One might also realise that the amount of bitcoin that you are carrying, or rather have access to, is not limited.

If you want to know the value of bitcoin against canadian dollars, the exchange that  the article mentioned will give you up to date prices and a quick search will get you prices in many other currencies. There are also average price calculators online. 

It is a traded currency, just not by banks.

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 30 October, 2013, 09:08

I think, given the nature of bitcoin, it's faily obvious why you'd want to deposit anonymous cash to get bitcoins. Hint: Silk road/Cyprus.

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Larry De Palma
Larry De Palma - TDG-Phenix, Inc. - Nashville, TN | 04 March, 2014, 19:50

The US Dollar might be the most widely used method of payment for drug deals.  That's pretty anonymous as well.  We need to drop that whole 'shtick' because the Bitcoin payment processors are FINCEN compliant.  So "anonymous" in my world means "I'm not keeping abreast of what's happening in the evolution of crypto-currencies". 

Bitcoin, if you think about it, might be the great "e-commerce/m-commerce equalizer" in this world.  You cannot use a MasterCard/Visa in Cuba if you're American.  Do I want to carry 200 Quid in my wallet when I can use my iPhone or Android device to "QR code and go".

What if Richard Branson finds life on Mars?  Do they want to deal with the overinflated, overprinted US Dollar? 

The US Dollar is based on GDP/Debt and other 'economic factors' (i.e., bullsh*t).  The Bitcoin blockchain addresses computational difficulties (think mining in northern California in 1842) to equate value/investment to commodity value.  This is a 'miners wealth' but an eco-friendly 21st century FX facilitator.

The market problems right now in the Bitcoin world simply boil down to liquidity.  The exchanges need to be aware of their positions 24x7 as if it were a currency - they are techies, not financial people.  But at least they should be commended to bringing fast-paced innovations to an industry that is dominated by incapacity to lead.

I think Bitcoin is brilliant.  Will it replace Visa/MC?  It very well might, considering the amount of security that can be implemented without having to replace POS systems and card readers every Presidential election cycle.

Maybe I'm delusional.  Or maybe I'm a prophet.  Or maybe they are one in the same.  Don't write off the most globally potential payment system at this point,.

Cheers

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