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Worlds First BITCOIN ATM Opens in Vancouver Canada - Is CryptoCurrency the Future Currency?
It was the machine face that launched a thousand articles. News of the world's first real Bitcoin ATM being installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada on Tuesday set the media afire, with stories published across the globe. Whether related or not, in the day after the CND$ BTC machine went live, "Bitcoin" became the second most read article on Wikipedia, after "Halloween."
Bitcoiniacs, which bought the $18,500 machine from Reno, Nevada-based Robocoin. While most of that is people buying Bitcoins, $6,000 worth of Bitcoins have been traded for Canadian cash. Demeter says he's planning to install four more Bitcoin ATMs around Canada.
Financial regulators have told him they're not interested in his ATM as Canada doesn't regard Bitcoin as a currency. The machine's only nod toward the law is a palm scanner to ensure that no one palm exchanges more than $3,000 per day, per a federal requirement intended to prevent money laundering.
But why is the world so excited about this machine? And why would anyone use it? The whole financial point of the peer-to-peer, decentralized currency is to make online money transmission easy and transaction-fee free. Though the machine makes a near instant exchange taking less than a minute reports Wired says there is a 3% fee to change money using the machine, making it pricier than most online exchanges. San Francisco-based Coinbase charges a 1% fee to change money to Bitcoin. Canadian Virtual Exchange has fees from .5% to 1.5%.
"Why trundle down to a regular ATM to get bills to stuff into the Bitcoin ATM, when you could do the same transaction on your couch pay fewer fees?" writes Jeff John Roberts at Gigaom.
While the machine does facilitate anonymity by allowing you to convert directly from cash to Bitcoin without attaching a bank account or identity credentials as you must with Bitcoin exchanges like Coinbase or, now, Mt. Gox have to scan a palm, leaving some identifying biometric information behind. Though part of the reason a palm was chosen is that it's a biometric not often used unless you're taking the GMAT.
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There was a race on to be the first to develop a Bitcoin ATM, with Robocoin primarily competing with New Hampshire-based Lamassu and BitcoinATM. Bitcoiniacs chose Robocoin because "they're the only ones that have a functioning product," says Demeter. "Everyone's talking about it but no one had anything ready."
Despite the fact that the machine doesn't make much sense economically, I believe it got widespread coverage because of people's fascination with Bitcoin in the real world. People have trouble grasping the "mining" and cryptography and peer-to-peer network stuff, but an ATM that you put money into that shoots a Bitcoin address out? That's easily grasped. to digital forms of money. criminal activity.
The two Senate hearings -- the first to focus on bitcoin -- are likely to examine how regulators are responding to the new forms of payment, the aides said. Potential points of discussion include how financial-industry regulators will watch over investment in the new currencies and how virtual currencies might impede tax collection or facilitate trade in illegal products out of the sight of law enforcement. online drug marketplace Silk Road.
Bitcoin, which allows users to conduct online transactions while obscuring their identities, was the only currency accepted on Silk Road. Law enforcement officials arrested the site's alleged proprietor, Ross Ulbricht, earlier this month, and have shuttered the operation.
Ulbricht faces a potentially lengthy prison sentence for charges ranging from narcotics trafficking to computer hacking to money laundering. Federal officials have now seized over $33.6 million worth of bitcoins in connection with the case.