There’s been a story circulating this week that the first-ever ‘Bitcoin ATM’ will be installed in Cyprus to capitalise on the country’s financial meltdown.
We’ll spare the names of those who’ve been sharing and Tweeting this “news”…
But this is not news in anyway. It’s just a press release.
The project premise is based on the notion that Cyprus’ banking sector would cease to function and that a Bitcoin ATM would save the day. And yet the Cyprus banking system is functioning again, and ATMs have been functioning the whole time.
Here’s the key text:
Upon examination of the marketplace and many discussions with Justin O’Connell (TDV Newsletter & Gold Silver Bitcoin), as well as another key strategic partner of ours, I have decided to move forward with what I believe could be the next multi-billion dollar business venture: Bitcoin ATM.
The Bitcoin ATM page is extremely vague and says it’s seeking investors/partners, which means there’s no actual product yet.
The announcement continues:
But that isn’t all. It is wholly our intention at Bitcoin ATM to put the company in the right position to open its very first ATM in Cyprus. If we did this now, and we are moving quickly to make this so, we would be the only functioning ATM on the island.
Again, that’s false.
Another alarm bell for us is that while Berwick boasts of StockHouse.com’s large market cap at the height of the tech bubble, he says he sold it in 2002.
We’ve tried calling the number listed at the bottom of The Dollar Vigilante’s website for the past two days and have received no response.
A Bitcoin ATM sounds like a cool idea, and we urge Jeff or one of his colleagues to contact us to tell us more about it.
Here’s the full press release if you’re interested:
Jeff Berwick, founder of StockHouse.com and CEO of TDV Media, announced Monday his plans to open the world’s first Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus, citing the ongoing bank bailout, bank closures and capital controls now being pushed in that country. According to Berwick, who sold Stockhouse last decade which at the peak of the tech bubble was worth $240 million, Bitcoin ATM has the world’s first software enabling a two-way, automated Bitcoin market.
Last Friday, Cyprus announced a new bailout all inclusive of a levy of upwards of 15.26% on all deposits. On Monday, the banks shut down until Thursday, but by week’s end uncertainty shrouded the country as to when their ATMs would be back online. Over the weekend, it was announced the bank’s second biggest bank would be shutdown.
Interest in Bitcoin has soared, especially in southern Europe. As Yahoo! reports, downloads of Bitcoin-related apps started rising in Spain over the weekend. For instance, Bitcoin Gold spiked in the Spanish iPhone Finance category from 498 to 72, while another app called Bitcoin Ticket zoomed from 526-52 in just one day. Leading service, Bitcoin App, jumped from 194 to 151 from Friday and Sunday while Spaniards took notice of Cyprus.
Fox Business news wrote that Bitcoin “is emerging as an apparent winner from the drama surrounding the bailout of tiny Cyprus.”
With Bitcoin ATM, Jeff Berwick announced plans to place a bi-directional (bitcoin for cash, cash for bitcoin) dispenser as part of the launch of his latest venture. Over the weekend, he hinted at his venture in his blog for the Dollar Vigilante:
“I’ve even recently relayed to TDV subscribers that I see bitcoin-related businesses as being the next multi-billion dollar (or multi-million bitcoin) businesses and will be relaying many of my business ideas to them over the coming weeks.
And, to top it off, we have already started some game-changing bitcoin businesses that I think will shock the world. I’ll be announcing one of them, related to the crisis in Cyprus, on Monday here at the TDV blog.”
According to the website, Bitcoin ATM is seeking investments and licensees to bring their technology to a town or city near you. You can email the company directly at bitcoinatm(at)bitcoinatm(at)com.
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