is a digital kioskthat lets its customers buy and sell Bitcoin for cash. For all intents and purposes, it’s a Bitcoin ATM.
Brothers Mark and John Russell of Las Vegas are the brains of the operation, having already run a software company that builds software powering more conventional ATMs. Russell was already an avid Bitcoiner, so building a Bitcoin ATM was just a natural extension of what they were already doing.
Here’s how it works. You put your cash deposit into the machine and either it tell it to generate a digital Bitcoin wallet for you and put your money there, or give the machine a preexisting wallet address for depositing your coins. It will print a QR code as a receipt of your transaction. About 10 minutes later, the Bitcoin network will push your transaction through, giving you access to your new Bitcoins.
If you want cash for your Bitcoins, bring your QR code back to a RoboCoin kiosk, scan it, and watch as it dispenses your physical money. Bitcoin to cash instantly, cash to Bitcoin almost instantly (consider the three- or four-day waiting period).
The Russells don’t intend to operate the RoboCoins themselves, but will instead sell the devices to operating partners for $US18,500 (the price will later rise to $US20,000). It’s not clear where the brothers foresee the ATMs being placed. Those who buy the kiosks will have to be smart when it comes to following financial regulations. These ATMs are essentially a money-launderer’s dream come true, but that’s hardly the point here. Where Bitcoin likely feels intractable for some, RoboCoin brings it into the physical world. Suddenly we’re dealing with Bitcoin right in front of us in terms that we understand — it’s just like any ATM you’ve used a thousand times before. It simply builds a bridge between digital and physical currency.
The first RoboCoin kiosk will open later this year in Vancouver and will spread quickly thereafter, according to the plan. The Glasers tell us there’s already plenty of interest. Check out the video below to see what a sample transaction looks like:
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