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Lamassu is now taking pre-orders for its bitcoin ATM

(@davidgilson) | Published on August 13, 2013 at 12:25 BST

Lamassu, the maker of a bitcoin ATM, are now taking pre-orders for the ATM which was demonstrated at the Bitcoin London conference. The ATM is designed to scan a QR code of customers' wallets and accept a bank note.

Zach Harvey, one of Lamassu's partners, told us: "We're very excited about beginning to accept pre-orders and moving closer and closer to shipping the Bitcoin Machines around the world. The idea now is the same as when we first started this project, to make Bitcoin more accessible to the masses".

In terms of demand for the ATM, Harvey told us that there have been 150 enquiries from over 40 countries. When asked when Lamassu expect to start shipping, Harvey said: "Being carefully optimistic, I think we will start seeing the first Bitcoin Machines deployed this October".

Harvey wouldn't give exact figures on the pre-orders received so far, but described them as "going very well" and that "orders are from multiple countries including Canada, Finland, Slovakia, New Zealand and Denmark". Those who are ordering the ATM were described by Harvey as "bitcoin entrepreneurs that either already have bitcoin businesses or want to get into the bitcoin world".

The ATM is a low-powered device, consuming "about the power needed for a consumer tablet". When asked about the best place to install them, he told us: "We recommend installing the Bitcoin Machine in an indoor attended retail environment. It is meant to resist smash-and-grab attacks, but not meant to be left outside at night".

In terms of using the ATM, it's expected that customers will have a wallet app on their smartphones that can present a QR code for their wallet address (but a paper wallet should work too). Once scanned, the customer will be asked to insert a bank note into the slot. The device will then detect the value of the note and advise the customer the amount of BTC they'll receive.

Even though there's a touch screen with a virtual button to "Send Coins", the transaction is final once the note is taken. Harvey told us that if the customer fails to touch the screen, it will time out and send the bitcoins anyway.

Businesses deploying an ATM will also have to configure their own bitcoin exchange system. Lamassu is not trading or converting bitcoin for ATM users.

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