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BITCOIN ATM OPENS IN HONG KONG - Get your Bitcoin in cash: World's second Bitcoin ATM
The world's second Bitcoin ATM is due to land in Hong Kong by the end of this month, according to U.S. based software company Robocoin.
The machine, available for sale to individual operators such as banks and private entrepreneurs, allows users to buy or sell Bitcoin in just a few minutes.
The process should be much faster than setting up an account on an exchange or via mobile apps and computers which could take a few days for account verification.
"It removes all the pain and barriers of entry to buying Bitcoin on an online exchange," said Robocoin chief executive Jordan Kelley.
The virtual currency has generated lots of media attention in China where investors have helped drive the price up to dramatic highs above $1,000.
Customers must choose to either buy or sell Bitcoin.
Let's say you want to make a withdrawal from your Bitcoin wallet. After choosing an amount of cash you'd like to withdraw, the software installed in the ATM generates a code which you have to scan with your smartphone.
Following a confirmation from the Bitcoin network to your phone, you can then scan the code on the receipt at the kiosk, which then prompts the ATM to spit out the allotted amount of cash.
The machine is also equipped with a hand scanner that creates a biometric authenticated identity as an anti-money laundering measure.
Casper Cheng Tsz Chun, a Hong Kong Bitcoin enthusiast, said the ATM would work a bit like a vending machine "for buying and selling virtual goods (Bitcoin) instead of physical goods like a can of soda."
READ: 8 things you can buy with bitcoins right now
Robocoin's first Bitcoin ATM launched in Vancouver in October, and after a month of operation, transactions have totaled 1 million Canadian Dollars ($942,000) in total transactions, according to the company.
Kelley said the company has already sold 50 ATMs to other operators worldwide but they are not yet in operation.
The company said it chose Hong Kong as the next place to launch its cash machine for the virtual currency because it "responds well to technological innovation."
Not every government in Asia is ready for a Bitcoin ATM. taiwan
"Bitcoin is not real currency and banks cannot receive or provide it. Installing ATMs require the authorization of the FSC, but it will not be approved, thus it is 'impossible' for Bitcoin ATMs to enter or appear in Taiwan," Central News Agency reported.
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The statement also warned institutions against the risk of investing in Bitcoin because of the extremely volatile price.
China's central bank issued new rules in December that prohibited financial institutions from dealing in the digital currency. While it did not outlaw individuals from owning Bitcoin, it specifies that it is not to be considered a currency.
Despite the setback, Robocoin's chief executive said he still firmly believes China will come to accept Bitcoin.
"Citizens around the world love Bitcoin. The Chinese are very pragmatic in their approach, they just want to make sure they have a very good understanding of the market and the usage," he said.
With over 1,000 new merchants adopting Bitcoin every week, it is perhaps not surprising that, as NY Post reports, the first Bitcoin ATM is about to debut in New York City.
Once upon a time, money -- in the form of precious metals -- used to be literally dug out of the earth. Limitations on the amount that could be mined, and on how much growth could be borrowed from the future (all debt is, is future consumption denied), is why eventually the world's central bankers moved from money backed by precious metals, to "money" backed by "faith and credit", in the process diluting both. It was the unprecedented explosion in credit money creation that resulted once money could be "printed" out of thin air that nearly destroyed the western financial system. Which brings us to Bitcoin, where currency "mining" takes place not in the earth's crust, or in the basement of the Federal Reserve, but inside supercomputers.