BITCOIN ATM Makes BUYING and SELLING BITCOIN SIMPLE
Manufacturer Lamassu is ending 2013 on a high. The company has just announced the sale of its 100th bitcoin ATM, and more than 120 orders.
To mark the occasion, Lamassu has set up an online map of bitcoin ATM locations that will be updated as new units go live across the globe.
More than a dozen ATMs have been delivered so far, and the rest of the orders will be fulfilled by Spring 2014. Zach Harvey, Lamassu's CEO, said:
"We've had orders from all over the world. We will be shipping to 25 different countries, ranging from Canada to Kyrgyzstan. We've translated our user interface into more than a dozen languages including Russian, Chinese and Friulian. To me it's a testament to the global reach of bitcoin."
Lamassu started taking pre-orders for its first bitcoin ATM in August at a price of $5,000 per unit. The ATM has a relatively small footprint, it can process fiat to bitcoin transactions in under fifteen seconds and it accepts notes from more than 200 countries. More importantly, it is one of just a few practical bitcoin ATMs available today.
Earlier this month, Finnish company Bittiraha.fi installed the first permanent Lamassu ATM inside a Helsinki record store. Although bitcoin ATMs have popped up in several European cities before the Finns got their first unit, none of these were permanent installations.
Lamassu will demonstrate its ATM at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next Sunday. The company expects additional machines to be set up throughout Europe and the Americas over the next few weeks at some major cities, including: San Francisco, Atlanta and Seattle.
Bitcoin's very first physical step into Finnish soil was made in Helsinki, when Europe's first permanent bitcoin ATM was launched yesterday in a record store Levykauppa Äx, which is known to experiment with their marketing.
There are other companies that have introduced bitcoin ATM's in Europe such as the Swedish Safello and attempts in Slovakia and Denmark. There was even one at the Slush conference. However none of them were permanent and according to our data, this one is the first one in Europe.
Customers can now buy bitcoins for cash in the store with an exchange rate set by Finnish exchange company Bittiraha, who is also responsible for the installation of the ATM. The record store will also begin accepting bitcoins as payment and join the narrow list of stores and shops who accept this much discussed crypto currency in Finland.
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Major online retailer Overstock.com plans to accept bitcoin payments as early as the end of Q2 2014. Yesterday the rumour was officially confirmed by Overstock.com's CEO and chairman, Patrick Byrne. The company had hinted its intentions in a New York Times interview in October and Byrne clarified that the online retailer is now just waiting for legal clarification before going ahead. With over a billion US dollars in annual turnover, Overstock.com would be by far the biggest retailer to accept the virtual currency as a method of payment. The e-commerce company made the decision just a few weeks ago, Byrne said, during a review of the retailer's information technology priorities for 2014.
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The entrepreneur said that the company is not going to spend a fortune implementing the digital currency because for now the plan is just a trial. Overstock.com would closely monitor the use of bitcoin to assess whether to continue accepting it in future. The CEO underlined that the online retailer would be looking to hedge against bitcoin's huge price volatility with a clearing system that would convert it straight into dollars, safeguarding the company's profit margins.
However, Byrne said that he was "not in the least" discouraged by this week's sharp price drop of the crypto-currency. The CEO is known for his openness to bitcoin, though doesn't personally own any virtual currencies just yet. The e-commerce pioneer considers himself a believer in the Austrian economics school, which says that fiat currencies are fundamentally flawed because they are prone to inflation and manipulation from central banks.