Presenting Robocoin, The World's First Bitcoin ATM
Vancouver is now home to a machine that accepts and dispenses only cash and Bitcoin account data. The goal, say its owners, is to make the virtual currency easier to buy and sell.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Going online today (Oct. 29) in Vancouver is Robocoin, billed as the world's first Bitcoin ATM. Unlike regular ATMs, which are accessed using credit or debit cars, Robocoin allows users to receive bitcoins (via online address numbers) in exchange for cash or cash in exchange for account data provided through a smartphone app. No bank account or even identification is needed to use this particular machine; a simple palm scan is enough to confirm that the user is staying within the CDN$3,000 daily purchase maximum. One of the purchasers of the machine, who co-owns a bitcoin trading store called Bitcoiniacs, says they bought it "to make it easier for everyone to buy bitcoins...We saw the ATM as a way to expand the model of the store."
What's the Big Idea?
More businesses are beginning to accepting bitcoin payments, including Vancouver's Waves Coffee House, which is where this ATM was installed. Its creators first tested it at a convention last May in California, but chose Canada for its official launch partially because the operating and user regulations are a little less stringent than in the US. However, Bitcoin Foundation lawyer Patrick Murck says he expects to see the machines on the other side of the border soon: "I think it’s great for bitcoin because it increases access to bitcoin for the mainstream public."
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