CMS Payments Intelligence


HSBC banker first in line for Bitcoin ATM

Posted: 31st October 2013


The world's first bitcoin ATM saw 81 transactions during its first day of operations on Tuesday, totalling over $10,000, with the inaugural transaction conducted by a curious HSBC banker.

The kiosk, located in a downtown coffee house in Vancouver, witnessed its first transaction at six pm Monday, immediately after installation.

Jason Lamarche, a premium banker at HSBC who had been waiting for more than three hours to use the machine, exchanged a $20 bill for one-tenth of a bitcoin, which he promptly used to pay for a steamed milk with vanilla.

"It was amazing," he told Wired. "It was super convenient. It was easy to use."

The free-standing kiosks, developed by Nevada-based Robocoin, register users via a palm scan and can accept up to C$3000 in any single cash transaction. The machine is linked to Candian bitcoin exchange VirtEx, which performs the trade and loads the cash into the user's bitcoin wallet.

It may just be the novelty value, but the number of transactions conducted on the machine during its first full day of operation exceeded all expectations. Of the 81 transactions recorded, over one-third were conducted by "bitcoin newcomers", Robcoin reported.

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By Alex Ellwood, Marketing Executive

Mshaw"Bitcoin seems to be creeping into the high street. This may be the first Bitcoin ATM but I anticpate more being opened. They do however only hold novelty value as no high street retailers accept them. However as contactless and app payments systems are slowly introduced to high street retailers, I would not be suprised to see an insurgence of Bitcoin ATMs. We are a long way away from Bitcoin becoming common place, the benefits of regular payments methods such as cash and card still outweigh the benefits of bitcoin by a long way despite a clear effort to innovate payments methods to account for Bitcoin."