Virtual Currency Hits Austin
Bitcoin planning U.S. virtual currency ATMs — and they're coming to Austin first
It's a cryptocurrency that is becoming a major trend on the Internet, creating online marketplaces and economies, inspiring subcultures across Reddit — and confusing pretty much everyone in the process. Bitcoin, which some are touting as the currency of the future, is slowly becoming an acceptable form of payment in day-to-day life, and users will soon have direct access on the streets of Austin.
Robocoin announced that it plans to install the first public bitcoin ATMs in the United States in Austin as well as Seattle.
Robocoin, a company based out of Las Vegas, announced that it plans to install the first public bitcoin ATMs in the United States in Austin as well as Seattle; Reutersreports that Robocoin intends to install the ATMs later this month.
They will be similar to regular ATMs, but instead of a debit card, the machine will scan official government identification (driver's license or passport) to confirm a user's identity. Customers can then either swap bitcoins for cash or deposit cash to buy more bitcoins, which will then be transferred into users digital wallets.
However, as Gigaom points out, fans of the decentralized currency shouldn’t be holding their breath waiting for the kiosks to appear. The company has previously announced plans for ATMs in other North American cities only to scrap them after the announcement was made. "When I visited the Vancouver ATM in late December, its operators said they were installing machines in other Canadian cities — but for now, there’s still just the one," the reporter states.
If the kiosks are installed by the beginning of March, they could be poised for a SXSW rollout, with plenty of visiting tech geeks anxious to try them. We'll wait to see if with a growing market of users in Austin the ATMs persuade more people to ditch the green and to open up their digital wallets — despite its notorious volatility.