Money-Spinners: Bitcoin ATMs Make Firsts from California to Congress

Jon Southurst
Apr 4, 2014 at 19:54 UTC
Updated Jun 27, 2014 at 15:35 UTC

Take out your smartphones and get those palms warmed up for a scanning, because it’s time for CoinDesk’s weekly bitcoin ATM roundup.

In the world of bitcoin ATMs, there are more first prizes than a kindergarten sports day, as installers claim blue ribbons such as first bitcoin ATM in their region, first two-way bitcoin ATM, first bitcoin ATM open to the public, first permanent unit and so on.

Nonetheless, all bitcoin ATM news is good news, as it can be argued that it gets more coins into more hands, and everyone wins in the end.

London, UK

We start in CoinDesk’s hometown of London this week, which saw the first two-way ATM installation in the form of a Robocoin unit at an internet cafe in Holborn. Ordered in December, there was such demand for these machines that it took until April to get it up and running.

 

According to the video, London already has a Lamassu one-way machine operating, and another Robocoin is reportedly coming soon.

Zurich, Switzerland

Switzerland’s first bitcoin machine, a Lamassu, came online last weekend at the Cafe Schoffel in Zurich, owned and operated by Rolf Leuenberger and Emanuel Muessli (pictured). The cafe itself, like most others with bitcoin ATMs, accepts bitcoin.

Zurich ATM

Mountain View, California

We reported on the machine that appeared at 500 Startups ‘Bitcoinference’ last week, but we’re happy to tell you Robocoin now has a more permanent foothold in Mountain View at the heart of Silicon Valley.

The ATM is located in the main lobby of the Hacker Dojo, a community center for hackers and thinkers, and is operated by Cary Peters, President of Coinage, LLC.

“We’re setting the precedent for bitcoin ATMs and demonstrating to California’s citizens and regulators just how this exchange business should be run with respect to anti-money laundering compliance and consumer protection,” said Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley at the launch.

Mountain View Silicon Valley ATM

Auckland, New Zealand

Carrying the flag for the entire Southern Hemisphere this week is Bitto of New Zealand, which unveiled that country’s first two Lamassu machines. These machines are a little different in that they’re nomadic, moving around to special events, bookings or wherever else they’re requested.

As the only two machines around, demand should be high, though there are rumors of another eight machines coming to NZ soon.

ATM line in Auckland NZ

Coming soon

Just to whet your appetite for the coming weeks, we have HK Bitcoin ATM gearing up to launch not only a bitcoin ATM but a whole ‘Bitcoin Museum’ showcasing artifacts from bitcoin’s long history in the Chic Castle Mall in Mongkok. The mall has been described by the Guiness Book of World Records as the busiest district in the world (CoinDesk has been there and can vouch that it is indeed very busy). The official launch is coming up on 12th April.

It also looks like there’s another new hardware player on the scene with an innovative design and price as well.

BitXATM’s one-way Sumo Pro machines also work as POS payment terminals and claim to the be cheapest around, at €2,900 each.

Other tidbits

Robocoin representatives will visit Washington, DC on 8th April to demonstrate their machines to Congress members, the first company to do so.

Speaking at the demonstration will be Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), an entrepreneur himself who is known to be bitcoin-friendly and who once wrote a humorous reply to his colleague Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) after he suggested banning bitcoins. More to follow after the event.

GenesisCoin, who launched two machines in Tijuana last week that also dispensed dogecoin and potentially litecoin as well, announced it has received orders for 12 of its Genesis1 ATMs. The large, two-way Genesis1 machines cost $14,500, competitively priced against main competitor Robocoin, whose machines sell for $20,000.

And finally, there were a few complaints from Aussies last week that our reported ‘first bitcoin ATM in Australia’ was not actually the first. As we mentioned at the beginning of this story, though, everyone’s a winner wherever bitcoins are being acquired and there are no special prizes for being named ‘first’ in these reports.

As a bonus, here is an Australian news report detailing the possible ATM bonanza that could soon hit that country.

Images courtesy of ATM operators, NZ image source unknown