Bitcoin ATMs: Happy Birthday!

Blog | 08 Oct 2014

Self-service Bitcoin kiosks have now been on the market for exactly one year. During this time they have made a big contribution to the changing attitudes towards financial services and money exchange. We are expecting more of the same as Bitcoin kiosks enter their second year.

The first Bitcoin machine was launched in October 2013 in Vancouver’s Waves coffee shop. This was a Robocoin ATM which was operated by Bitcoiniacs, but since then they have also been manufactured by the likes of BitAccess, Lamassu and many more. 

These self-service kiosks have now reached almost every corner of the globe. Currently being found in USA, (where the first went online in an Albuquerque cigar bar in February 2014), as well as Australia, the UK, Switzerland, Finland, Germany, Japan and Slovakia. Soon to join this increasingly less elite are Portugal, Brazil, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and Singapore. 

Before the advent of Bitcoin kiosks people wanting to convert cash to Bitcoins would use online exchanges and have to wait several days for their transactions to be complete. Not anymore. The kiosk software used to power these machines are hooked up to fantastic cloud-based server infrastructure, meaning that people can use these self-service kiosks to convert their crypto currency in an instant. 

These ATMs use the latest in kiosk software technology to carry out all the necessary security checks before making the swap. Some will change cash for crypto currency, whilst others will also allow users to get cash by scanning a mobile app featuring their encrypted Bitcoin balance. 

Unlike traditional Money Transfer there is no need for tellers and other staff, as the kiosk software used in a Bitcoin ATM can do everything necessary to ensure a safe, secure, and timely transaction. It will dispense a QR code to be scanned to an app in exchange for cash, but only after using innovative technology to verify the user’s identity. People wanting to make a swap will have to have their face scanned when they first use a Bitcoin ATM and then will have their palm prints and appropriate ID scanned every time they want to complete a transaction. 

Many experts believe that the future of these Bitcoin machines involves much more than simply converting currencies. They have the potential to allow people without credit cards or bank accounts to shop online or to convert currency. They could even change their local currency back into Bitcoin on their return from a trip.

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