At the Bitcoin conference held yesterday in London, startup Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures unveiled an ATM that turns banknotes into Bitcoins.
The most popular cryptocurrency rose and seemed to fall, but eventually turned out not be a scam, as many believed it would. Bitcoin still seems to have some important cons to it, among which speculation, scams, money laundering and black market contraband sales should be mentioned. While people are still interested in it, companies will keep developing all sorts of hardware to make or convert Bitcoins. Some compete in creating the most efficient ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) Bitcoin miners, while others, such as Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures try to make fiat currency and this cryptocurrency coexist more easily.
This tabletop-sized ATM’s tagline is meant to give people an idea about what it does: “Fiat to Bitcoin in 15 seconds.” Until now, converting cash to this cryptocurrency required either an online service or an owner of Bitcoins willing to convert sell you some (does this sound like a drug deal or what?). In both cases, a lot of time would be spent, so this ATM really makes the lives of Bitcoin buyers a lot easier. “With our Bitcoin machine… you don’t need the bank’s approval to start running these Bitcoins machines. You only need cash,” stated Zach Harvey, co-founder of Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures.
The Bitcoin ATM comes with a touchscreen display that shows the current exchange rate. A camera is used for scanning the QR code containing the address where the Bitcoins should be delivered. Upon inserting paper money into the slot, the cryptocurrency will be sent.
The problems with this Bitcoin ATM (and with ASIC Bitcoin miners, while we’re at it), are that it costs a lot of money and that the steep price is not really justified. Does it save people time? Surely! Is it worth to buy one for personal use? Certainly not!
Should Bitcoin survive time and skepticism, it might prove to be a real good investment. Paying a lot of money for ASIC Bitcoin miners is certainly difficult, but at least the investment return for those is pretty quick. Such a Bitcoin ATM, on the other hand, would only be useful if it took a fee for every transaction, much like fiat currency ATMs do.
If you liked this post, please check these operational miniature black powder steampunk cannons that can be bought with Bitcoin and this 100% functional LEGO ATM.