100 bitcoin ATMs are about to hit the streets of Australia, according to a local radio report.
This weekend, state broadcaster ABC ran a short report on bitcoin during its current affairs program The World Today. It included the news that a company called Australian Bitcoin ATMs would be distributing ATM machines all over the country.
The report didn’t give away many specifics about the project or the company, and the brand of the ATMs wasn’t mentioned. CEO Chris Guzowski said:
“You can type in how many bitcoins you want to sell, then our ATM goes onto an overseas bitcoin exchange and executes that transaction for you and will spit out the cash for which you sold the bitcoin for. And the opposite also applies, so you can put cash in and purchase bitcoin.”
This information suggests that the ATMs will be two-way, and the image on the company’s website shows they’re likely to be Robocoin machines.
The interview also quoted David Glance from the University of Western Australia’s Centre for Software Practice as saying it will take more than ATMs to facilitate mass adoption:
“I think that until you see the National Australia Bank or the Commonwealth or one of the major banks getting behind the currency, providing simplified access to it, I think it’s always going to be a niche,” he said.
Banks and regulators
In fact, National Australia Bank (NAB) has done just that already. After the Commonwealth Bank shut down business and personal accounts belonging to Melbourne-based payment processor CoinJar and its founder, NAB approached the company with an offer to help it manage its bitcoin affairs.
NAB also published a mostly-positive internal research paper on bitcoin for FX traders, saying that while bitcoin did not meet the legal definition of a ‘currency’, it is everything a currency is supposed to be: durable, portable, fungible and divisible.
Australian regulators have not issued any formal guidelines on bitcoin just yet. But the governor of its central bank did pass on a casual warning about “speculative excesses” in a newspaper interview last December.
CoinDesk has contacted Australian Bitcoin ATMs and the Australian Bitcoin Association for comment on this story, and will update.
Australia Image via Shutterstock