A Bitcoin ATM Coming Soon To A Neighborhood Near You
It is still early days for the Bitcoin ATM but manufacturer, Lamassu, has just announced the sale of its 100th Bitcoin ATM. Lamassu is not the only Bitcoin ATM manufacturer but it has been making news with its orders from across the globe. As it touches its 100th ATM just before the end of 2013, Bitcoiners should be excited about the prospects as it seems the revolution is well underway.
Lamassu and Robocoin
For now though, the hype over the Lamassu Bitcoin ATM is more about turning your cold hard cash into Bitcoin rather than the other way around. Lamassu only allows users to deposit cash for Bitcoin at this point in time. Rival Bitcoin ATM manufacturer, Robocoin, was quick to criticize the one way option of Lamassu ATMs.
The Robocoin ATM can take cash and convert it into Bitcoin but also allows users to withdraw their Bitcoin as cash at the ATM. Robocoin also shook up the Bitcoin scene when their ATMs were installed in Canada. One of the Robocoin ATMs in Vancouver took more than CA$ 1 million in 29 days of operation from the end of October 2013.
The cheaper $5,000 Lamassu Bitcoin ATMs may have limited functionality in comparison to Robocoin’s $20,000 units but orders are still flying in. Lamassu has been shipping units from October 2013 with more orders still being processed and due for delivery by Spring 2014. It has been an exciting end to the year for the ATM manufacturer.
Small But Significant Steps
Be it the Lamassu or Robocoin ATM, these are important milestones in the Bitcoin revolution. The fact that there are organizations willing to buy these ATMs and install it at locations that are accessible by public, shows that there is greater interest in Bitcoin than what some continue to label as a novelty or short term IT hype.
Average people are willing to put their money into Bitcoin without having to do it on their computer. It also makes Bitcoin more accessible to a larger audience thereby further promoting the cryptocurrency. Lamassu’s announcement is a positive note to end 2013 when the Chinese Bitcoin gloom and subsequent Bitcoin price crash earlier this month had many questioning the fate of the cryptocurrency.
American Bitcoin ATMs
It may be too early to find a Bitcoin ATM at your local corner store but slowly the number of ATMs popping up is increasing. According to Lamassu, ATMs will be seen in some major US cities very shortly. This includes San Francisco, Atlanta and Seattle. For many, the question is where exactly these ATMs will be located.
Without the credibility of fiat currency, or the endorsement of major banks, Bitcoin ATMs are unlikely going to be at every convenience store and gas station. Apart from the odd willing store and station owner, Bitcoin ATMs are more likely to be seen in more upmarket spots often associated with IT firms and their partners.
The ATMs for now will be few and far between but Bitcoiners should be excited about the prospect of seeing these machines at the odd spot in their city.