First U.S. Bitcoin ATMs Set to Debut in Seattle, Austin
Bitcoins are yet another step closer to going mainstream. Robocoin today announced that it will roll out the first-ever Bitcoin ATM machines in the U.S. later this month, starting with Seattle and Austin, Texas. Exactly where in the cities the machines will be installed is still unknown.
Robocoin’s CEO Jordan Kelley told Time magazine in September 2013 that his firm was “working on deals” that would see its digital currency machines delivered to locations in Los Angeles, Florida, New York, and Austin by December or January. All of those cities have yet to have them installed.
Robocoin did, however, deliver on its much-publicized plans to deliver the first cryptocurrency kiosk to Canada, rolling out the country’s inaugural bitcoin ATM in a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver in early November of last year. The machine reportedly churned out an impressive $100,000 of CAD in transactions in its first eight days of operation and “processed millions of dollars worth of bitcoin” in its first three months alone, according to a statement on Robocoin’s website.
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Robocoin’s specialized machines, which let users exchange bitcoins for cash and cash for bitcoins, scan users’ driver’s licenses and passports to identify them, according to Reuters. Gigaom reports that the company’s Vancouver ATM is equipped with a biometric sensor that blocks the same person from exchanging more than $3,000 a day.
Using the Vancouver Robocoin kiosk isn’t free, of course. Also according to Gigaom, users have to foot a 5 percent transaction processing fee to Robocoin, which is pricier than online Bitcoin exchanges.
Robocoin says it also plans to install a Bitcoin ATM in Calgary, Alberta later this year, with machines to eventually follow in Europe and Asia as well.Related: Bitcoin Exchange Mt. Gox Apologizes About Crippling Hack, Says Withdrawals to Resume Soon
Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here.