Here in Canada, we don't have any more pennies. Starting next week, though, we will have Bitcoin ATMs. That's right, Canada is going to have the world's first Bitcoin ATM. The ATM will be installed in Vancouver outside of a popular coffee house. One the machine has been set up, Canadians will be able to exchange Canadian dollars for Bitcoins.
The Bitcoin machine is backed and supported by the Canadian Government, but there are a few ground rules. All Bitcoin ATMs must be able to thoroughly scan users for photo, palm, and other identifying factors (as would be the case when exchanging money through a bank or exchange center). Also, users can only exchange around $3,000 per day.
A Bitoinc ATM showed up outside of a San Diego hotel earlier this year, but that machine was just a temporary instalment. The Vancouver machine will be permanent. So, why would you want to exchange your Canadian dollars for some Bitcoins? Can you use these coins anywhere? More importantly: is this the best way to buy Bitcoins?
A Closer Look
The ATM that will be set up in Vancouver will take a 4.75% transaction fee per transaction. That's a hefty fee. It's an even heftier fee when you think about the other ways to purchase Bitcoins. You can purchase this currency online through a number of different websites, and some of those sites offer better transaction fees. But, let's say that you are in desperate need of Bitcoins when you exit that Vancouver coffee house (yeah, not likely, but let's just say...).
Where can you spend your new Bitcoins? Surprisingly, there are a number of stores and online shops that currently take Bitcoins. Some businesses in California take Bitcoins, and you can also buy some items on Etsy with a Bitcoin. You may be hard-pressed to find a store in Canada that takes Bitcoins right now, but that's likely to change if the ATM option picks up speed.
More Bitcoin ATMs Coming Soon
The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) reported this past June that Bitcoin machines would be installed all across Canada. Back then, the CBC pointed to Vancouver as the first city to receive a Bitcoin machine. In the next few months, the CBC reports that Bitcoin ATMs will be set up in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, and Ottawa. These machines are expected to pop up by the end of December.
If you live in Canada and you want some Bitcoins, you may feel more comfortable exchanging dollars for coins at an ATM. Plus, these ATMs won't come with any waiting periods (which online Bitcoin exchange operations tend to do). For those looking to make an investment in Bitcoins, the ATMs might be one option. Then again, this currency wildly fluctuates, and it will take a mass adoption of the currency to make purchasing the coins a true investment.
Live in Vancouver? Want a Bitcoin ATM in your town? What do you think about this new ATM? Is this a good idea, or are Bitcoins something that should have died with the Silk Road?