Bitcoin trading could soon happen on the high street, as Robocoin has unveiled plans to install bitcoin ATMs in the United States.
The company has already launched a bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, Canada and plans to begin operating one in Calgary later on this month as well.
But it is the plans for Europe and Asia that are most interesting, as the company has revealed it is planning to install ATMs there as well.
The Las Vegas-based company announced that two ATMs would be installed in the United States – one in Seattle and one in Austin, Texas.
Transactions on a global scale
These machines will allow people to swap bitcoins for cash or to deposit money to buy more bitcoins by transferring funds to or from a virtual wallet on their Smartphones.
They will be equipped with scanners to read government-issued forms of identification, such as passports and driving licences, so the machines can confirm who is taking part in the transaction.
The machines are popular too – Robocoin claims that its machine in Vancouver carried out transactions worth one million Canadian dollars in its first month of operation.
Meanwhile, chief executive of Robocoin Jordan Kelley stated that the company had sold 50 ATMs to other operators worldwide back in January.
Bitcoin was first launched in 2008 and is traded as part of a global network online.
While it is not directly controlled by any company and has no direct assets, the release of bitcoin is not easy and is severely limited.
Bitcoin creation occurs in blocks, although the number generated per block will decrease geometrically over time – decreasing by 50% every four years – meaning that no more than 21 million will ever exist.
As a result, bitcoin is worth a significant sum, with its value topping the $1,000 mark in late 2013, although its value has fluctuated massively since.
Currently, a bitcoin is worth around $600 but it fell as low as $150 last September, in what is a highly volatile online market.
Some shops accept the currency as a form of payment but most places do not. However, the introduction of ATM machines could mean a greater number of people having access to the online currency.
These machines could see the currency become even more commonplace, although it is predicted that it will still take a significant amount of time to really take off.
Careful financial management
Mining bitcoin is no easy task as the procedure is very expensive and requires a considerable level of expertise.
That means people wishing to be in possession of the digital currency would need to buy some, but that will be costly.
As a result, managing finances becomes important if you are choosing to spend, which is where the controls on spending that come with a prepaid card can be beneficial.
They also have additional security that can prevent the risk of losing money should something go wrong.
Most can be replaced and re-credited if lost or stolen, meaning your expenditure can be carefully managed with the minimum of fuss.