ATMs raise bitcoin profile, concerns

Comment on this story


Bitcoin

Reuters.

Washington - Even if you aren't sure what a Bitcoin is, you may soon find them at a nearby machine.

The first Bitcoin ATMs are cropping up in North America, enabling consumers to swap cash for units of the crypto-currency, or cash in their Bitcoins.

ATMs are coming in Europe and Asia as well.

The machines could allow Bitcoins, generated by a complex computer algorithm designed in 2009, to move out of the realm of geeks to the broader public.

The US startup Robocoin, after unveiling its first ATM in Vancouver last year, announced plans to begin operating a machine in Austin, Texas, on Thursday.

It also plans to open one in Seattle, in Washington state, ahead of a wider global launch.

“We have completely removed the barriers for people to buy and sell Bitcoins,” Robocoin chief executive Jordan Kelley told AFP.

“You no longer have to wait days, you don't have to provide your bank account.”

Kelley said Robocoin provides the only “bi-directional” Bitcoin ATMs, meaning that consumers can either buy or sell the digital currency.

Robocoin provides the hardware, made in the United States, to local operators, who must get certification from state and federal authorities and comply with anti-money laundering rules.

Operators around the world will also need certification in the countries where they operate, Kelley said.

“We were built to be fully compliant (with finance regulations) globally,” he said.

Kelley declined to provide the number of orders for the ATMs, saying only, “We have a lot.”

He said the company is awaiting certification for its shipments to locations in Europe and Asia.

The Robocoin ATMs perform a biometric scan of each user's palm, as well as take a facial photo, which is matched to the user's government-issued identity card.

The system also runs a check to determine if the user is a wanted criminal or terror suspect.

“We provide a profile of the customer that gives our operators full visibility and trackability,” Kelley said.

The first operational ATM in the United States started up Tuesday in a New Mexico cigar shop, according to manufacturer Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures.

Lamassu has some 200 orders around the world, and has opened Bitcoin ATMs in two Australian cities as well as one each in Helsinki, Berlin, Bratislava and Vancouver.

The New Mexico operator Enchanted Bitcoins is “paving the way for mainstream Bitcoin accessibility in the United States,” says Zach Harvey, chief executive of Lamassu, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands.

The operator is following guidelines from FinCEN, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, to avoid running afoul of the law, and has registered as a money exchange service.

Despite the growing popularity of Bitcoins, the digital currency has been linked to crime and drugs in exchanges such as the dark Web bazaar Silk Road. And many economists warn that the currency has no hard value.

Bitcoins have been exceptionally volatile, rising to more than $1,200 last year, before falling to around $600 in recent weeks.

And some Bitcoin exchanges have been shut down by regulators.

Last month, US authorities filed criminal charges against two operators of a Bitcoin exchange, including the head of a company with high-profile investment backers.

Some analysts see advantages in the move to Bitcoin Ä it has little or no transaction costs, is quickly and easily transmitted and has verifiable and traceable transactions based on its software.

“The deeper I dive, the more impressed I am with this as a technology solution, as an incredible idea for finance, as a stored value for payments,” said Staci Warden, executive director of the Center for Financial Markets at the Milken Institute.

Warden said Bitcoin has advantages over other currencies because it can be divided into extremely small units - one quadrillionth of a Bitcoin - for micropayments.

“Bitcoins can be sent to you with no transaction costs at all,” Warden told an online forum Tuesday.

She said that contrary to popular belief, Bitcoin transactions are not anonymous but “pseudonymous” and can be traced and verified on the Bitcoin master ledger.

“If Target (a US store) used Bitcoin, none of the 70 million customers would have had their accounts compromised, because Target wouldn't know anything about the customers,” she said.

But a report last month by the International Institute of Finance (IIF), which represents more than 450 banks and financial institutions, said Bitcoin's future as a broadly accepted exchange medium is limited.

Mark Williams, a Boston University banking and risk management specialist, argues that Bitcoins are dangerous for the financial system, and that ATMs heighten the risks.

“An ATM makes it easier for the average person to get access to Bitcoins,” Williams told AFP.

“But there is no consumer protection. There is no guarantee you will get your money back.”

Williams argues that Bitcoin is not really a currency but a commodity, “and it's a high-risk commodity, a speculative commodity.”

He said Bitcoin values have seen “flash crashes” of as much as 80 percent on an intraday basis and can be highly volatile, like other speculative assets.

“So I don't think they should even use the term ATM machine,” he said. “It's really a betting machine.” - Sapa-AFP


sign up
 
 

Comment Guidelines



  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

     

Join us on

IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks IOL-Social networks
Artistixoxo
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 28.
View Profile
Apple_853
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Judith78
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 48.
View Profile
Leigh1979
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Bastet_11
I'm a 43 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 48.
View Profile
Fire_and_Ice81
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
jamielief
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
LimitlessSoul
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Rosesandlace
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
Smurfette
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
optimistic_36
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 46.
View Profile
CTBLONDE
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
MistyLady
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
AgentI
I'm a 39 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Cathwhite
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
chloeeeee
I'm a 44 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 52.
View Profile
Blondie953
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Sophie_123
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
Winterwolf
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 35.
View Profile
Hopeful_dreamer
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
Blu
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 33.
View Profile
WandaLove
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 26.
View Profile
ContagiousLaughter
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
Loubelle
I'm a 50 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
khosyx
I'm a 20 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 21 and 30.
View Profile
Sonskyn83
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
PleinKatryn
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 35.
View Profile
Warmsmilewarmheart
I'm a 47 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Jimmyhgirl
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
Blondie_434
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 28 and 43.
View Profile
nirina
I'm a 37 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Jobaby10
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 45.
View Profile
Bassinchic
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men and women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
shani27
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
MissMoneypenny_13
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
MizLiz
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
Lala8610
I'm a 28 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 32.
View Profile
Angdt
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 30.
View Profile
Kay_722
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
sweets1987
I'm a 27 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 42.
View Profile
Foreverinhope
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 56.
View Profile
Bienkie01
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 48.
View Profile
sonskyn27
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Lilakii
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 23 and 31.
View Profile
MelaC15
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 45.
View Profile
Midcentury_girl
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 40.
View Profile
TuffLove
I'm a 34 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
_Melanie_
I'm a 18 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 28.
View Profile
BMull08
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 19 and 30.
View Profile
bon1bon
I'm a 35 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Livs_89
I'm a 25 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 38.
View Profile
JayAnne
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 56 and 70.
View Profile
SilverLiningM
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
DashieDash
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
JanieL
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 32.
View Profile
Teleporter1612
I'm a 48 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 43 and 100.
View Profile
Bebe1000
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 57.
View Profile
tigerlady28
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 34.
View Profile
dreamsoftly
I'm a 49 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 47 and 58.
View Profile
newmemories
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Chriz_1985
I'm a 29 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
your_wildest_dreams
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
Caroline_
I'm a 30 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 36.
View Profile
Moze008
I'm a 57 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
L123
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 32 and 39.
View Profile
Plattelandsenooi3
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 45.
View Profile
JULIET_001
I'm a 51 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 49 and 63.
View Profile
PowerPrincess
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 38 and 47.
View Profile
Lise41
I'm a 41 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 42 and 55.
View Profile
Enkellopende
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 43.
View Profile
JillieB
I'm a 61 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
Mayfly_2
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 45.
View Profile
Smileawhile
I'm a 45 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 44.
View Profile
sexilexi17
I'm a 19 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 20 and 25.
View Profile
klouise
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 31 and 39.
View Profile
Gemima
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
FoXyLaDy444
I'm a 56 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
KW82
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 40.
View Profile
Lady_143
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 34 and 40.
View Profile
HartjievanHoneydew
I'm a 21 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
RobzMolecule
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 22 and 30.
View Profile
FaiRy9
I'm a 26 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 36.
View Profile
Somersblomme
I'm a 53 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
Sunshine_again
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 52.
View Profile
Persephone101
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Rarefind
I'm a 55 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 52 and 63.
View Profile
SouthernLove
I'm a 23 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 26 and 35.
View Profile
recently40
I'm a 40 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 27 and 58.
View Profile
JustChat76
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Bianx24
I'm a 24 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 25 and 30.
View Profile
MTBGirl_11
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Doeksa
I'm a 33 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 33 and 39.
View Profile
Bluebell531
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 40 and 60.
View Profile
Kelix
I'm a 36 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Butterfly_effect
I'm a 38 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 36 and 48.
View Profile
MissSM
I'm a 31 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 29 and 39.
View Profile
HenrietteF
I'm a 32 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 30 and 42.
View Profile
KittyCat_69
I'm a 46 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
sexyhair
I'm a 42 year old woman looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Stand64
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 55.
View Profile
stumpjumper
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
TheRealMrRight
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
goldenhat
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 66.
View Profile
Ironstein06
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 37.
View Profile
5star
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
pieterl
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 62.
View Profile
KTM1190A
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 58.
View Profile
Tall_fun
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
Lonomor
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 35.
View Profile
DutchDelight_
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 46.
View Profile
Gaultier2014
I'm a 31 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 59.
View Profile
cknneth111
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
CL4ptp
I'm a 28 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 28.
View Profile
gentlebutcrazy
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
WanderingShadow
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
cornrlius205
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 50.
View Profile
DJStarglance
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
TripleJ94
I'm a 20 year old man looking to meet men and women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
Ryno_56
I'm a 26 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 34.
View Profile
cloudhopper
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
wiedahunk
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 70.
View Profile
Banker009
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 49.
View Profile
Kitchenslave
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Fred58
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
LiveLifeAlways
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 33 and 41.
View Profile
LovingSerenity
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 45.
View Profile
kannieworrynie
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
philip_unplugged514
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 68.
View Profile
ScottRanger1987
I'm a 27 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
BENTLEY292
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
Propriety
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
DaveB_791
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Romance51
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 60.
View Profile
Officer_Gentleman
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 48.
View Profile
Natureboykie
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 43 and 64.
View Profile
Jurgy62
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 55.
View Profile
karooboertjie15
I'm a 40 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
freddic1
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 55.
View Profile
breeze001
I'm a 49 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
sunset22
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 57.
View Profile
Ons2alleen
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 24 and 29.
View Profile
Alachison
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
SingleNSearching60
I'm a 60 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 70.
View Profile
toothless
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 36.
View Profile
Agent_K1
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 38 and 40.
View Profile
Kiwiana
I'm a 39 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 39.
View Profile
Dn212
I'm a 51 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 60.
View Profile
henisright
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 37 and 53.
View Profile
koolstoof55
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 63.
View Profile
Ivanhoe25
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Sundancekid344
I'm a 65 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 58.
View Profile
matiekat
I'm a 66 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 100.
View Profile
bellagio
I'm a 69 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 55 and 65.
View Profile
plodof
I'm a 58 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Rebelinbluejeans
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 62.
View Profile
tommy351
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 59.
View Profile
cccdovy
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 48 and 56.
View Profile
BobTheExtremeBuilder
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 47.
View Profile
Jonathen53
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 57 and 64.
View Profile
Jericho2010
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
Belligerent69
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 44.
View Profile
ekke_706
I'm a 50 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 55.
View Profile
IrishBoy11
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 27 and 40.
View Profile
rjscm
I'm a 48 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 45.
View Profile
lvebird53
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 65.
View Profile
Liefasb
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
JustCallMeBwana
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 49.
View Profile
mark99
I'm a 62 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
TheDuke_99
I'm a 36 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 42.
View Profile
Brainy_01
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 22 and 31.
View Profile
captainkid
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 47 and 56.
View Profile
Suidwester27
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 50.
View Profile
Andy_Leo
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Coolfun
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet men between the ages of 35 and 55.
View Profile
Bruce_308
I'm a 47 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 41 and 70.
View Profile
OohCharles
I'm a 53 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
pinsnow
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 65.
View Profile
CDolf
I'm a 30 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 33.
View Profile
richy10
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 70.
View Profile
umustbsomewhere
I'm a 61 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 45 and 55.
View Profile
charl1906
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 53.
View Profile
BossMorne
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
MLACOME0147
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 49 and 79.
View Profile
contour
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 34 and 39.
View Profile
George5911
I'm a 55 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 36 and 50.
View Profile
Lifechanger_7
I'm a 25 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 18 and 30.
View Profile
daniel101
I'm a 44 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 32 and 38.
View Profile
6s6s6s
I'm a 43 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 45.
View Profile
Gerrie1
I'm a 67 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 60.
View Profile
Bryn
I'm a 41 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 20 and 55.
View Profile
Cruisingoldie
I'm a 46 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 30 and 50.
View Profile
gavinzn
I'm a 57 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 50 and 57.
View Profile
Gambino_Family
I'm a 59 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 70.
View Profile
Lastgreatwhite
I'm a 56 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile
Natural123
I'm a 52 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 35 and 45.
View Profile
Firefox_771
I'm a 63 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 42 and 56.
View Profile
Denali
I'm a 45 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 25 and 40.
View Profile
JPretoria
I'm a 38 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 28 and 40.
View Profile
dinnerfortwo
I'm a 54 year old man looking to meet women between the ages of 40 and 50.
View Profile

Business Directory