Poland's digital currency scene continues its rapid expansion with the country's first bitcoin ATM freshly launched in the capital Warsaw and many more soon to follow, according to the operators.
The Bitcoin Embassy was set up to act as a hub for the Warsaw’s rapidly expanding bitcoin scene, Piotr Hetzig, the company's chief executive, told CoinDesk. Launching the bitcoin ATM in the heart of Warsaw was aimed to boost the visibility of the cryptocurrency in Poland, he explained.
However, the company’s plans go even further than that. A second ATM is to be made available shortly in the Polish capital, with a network of bitcoin vending machines eventually to be rolled out across the country.
"By the end of this year, as many as 30 bitcoin ATMs enabling [people] to purchase and sell bitcoins are expected to appear in various parts of Poland," the operator said.
Bitcoin Embassy Warsaw aims to offer a wide range of services tailored for bitcoin enthusiasts, as well as for those who want to make their first step in the world of digital currencies, according to Hetzig.
These will include training sessions, consultancy services, meetings and events, as well as sales of hardware for bitcoin mining. Initiatives to raise public awareness of the cryptocurrency are also planned.
The new Lamassu ATM is now open for business and can be found at Bitcoin Embassy Warsaw on 46 Krucza street. Opening hours are currently Monday to Friday, 10am to 6pm, but may become available 24/7 in the near future.
Denmark gets its first bitcoin ATM
Meanwhile, the first publicly available bitcoin ATM in Denmark has been launched at Irish pub The Dubliner, located on Copenhagen's famous 'walking street'. Also a Lamassu machine, the ATM accepts Danish krone and is operated by local bitcoin broker Sirius Money.
Thorkil Værge, founder and chief executive of the company, said "Denmark is one the countries where bitcoin is the least regulated. The financial authorities have stated that [anti-money laundering and know your customer] laws do not apply to bitcoin, and that bitcoin is [...] considered a private non-taxable asset”.
As a result, "earnings on bitcoins bought in Denmark are not taxed. On the flip side, losses are not tax deductible”, he explained, adding:
"The Dubliner is an excellent place to [site] a bitcoin ATM, since they have a lot of customers and long opening hours. The pub is also located very centrally near the Stork Fountain, which is the center of Copenhagen's shopping district."
Værge further indicated that the company is in the process of opening a subsidiary in the Spanish market, to be called Sirius Iberia.
Bitcoin centre and ATM launch in Prague
In another example of the cryptocurrency’s increasing popularity in Central Europe, a bitcoin centre launched in Prague, Czech Republic, on 28th May
The establishment is operated by local bitcoin business wBTCb.cz, and was set up to provide face-to-face services for those unfamiliar with digital currencies, as well as consulting services to registered clients.
The firm says it wants to become one of the main traders in the country’s digital currency market, with workshops and seminars designed to increase bitcoin’s visibility in the Czech Republic.
Martin Stránský, the company’s owner, ordered three bitcoin ATMs from US manufacturer Robocoin Technologies in December 2013 under a contract worth some 1,500,000 CZK ($74,200).
The centre is located on the corner of Arbesovo náměstí and Elišky Peškové street, with the Robocoin ATM available from Monday to Friday, 10am to 7pm, with a single transaction limit set at 25,000 CZK ($1,200).