The first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Vancouver, Canada on 29th October 2013. Robocoin first unveiled the ATM at a conference in San Jose, California during last year’s springtime. At the time Robocoin had said that four other ATM’s would be launched in December at Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa. Today (7th January 2014) however, Robocoin announced that they would be deploying the world’s second Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong.
According to Robocoin, they have sold nearly 50 ATM machines to operators worldwide but they are not yet in operation. Hong Kong was chosen because due to its positive response towards technological innovation. "I think Hong Kong is a very progressive environment," said CEO Jordan Kelley. "The government takes a progressive approach to emerging technologies, and it is important to get something going in the Asian economies," he added.
This video gives you an overview of the machine:
About the Robocoin ATM:
- It enables users to buy and sell Bitcoins.
- The ATM machine from Robocoin is equipped with biometric time locks and privacy-shielded touchscreen and has features like Wi-Fi and 3G enabled.
- The machine also accepts and dispenses cash and is international denomination ready.
- To avoid cases like money laundering and making multiple deposits, the ATM machine allows operation only after scanning a user’s palm.
- A user has a limit for depositing.
“The ATM will work a bit like a vending machine for buying and selling virtual goods (Bitcoin) instead of physical goods like a can of soda," said Hong Kong Bitcoin Enthusiast, Casper Cheng Tsz Chun. The location of the ATM has not been disclosed however.
Hong Kong’s adoption of the Bitcoin ATM gives Robocoin some breathing space. Recently the Taiwanese Central Bank & Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) had jointly declared that Bitcoin cannot be recognized as a valid form of currency. FSC Chairman Tseng Ming Chung said that Robocoin ATM’s would be prohibited.
Whatever said and done, Bitcoin has definitely created some waves last year. It will be interesting to see what is in store in 2014 for companies of all types trying to monopolize the virtual currency. If Bitcoin ATM’s end up gaining mainstream adoption (which I believe is a high possibility), Robocoin would benefit tremendously with its advantage as the first player in the arena.