For those wishing to experiment with Bitcoin, actually getting any of the crypto-currency in their hands can be a task.
Using a credit card is impossible in some countries, and transferring via PayPal is often seen as dangerous due to the irreversible nature of Bitcoin transactions. Cash is equally intimidating, either involving a meet-up with someone in person, or rushing down to the bank while a quote for the current value of the currency remains valid.
Canadians are about to have these difficulties eased, however, with the use of ATMs that will pay recipients in Bitcoin in return for a cash deposit.
According to The Canadian Press, Vancouver-based Bitcoiniacs is one of the first to pre-order five US$20,000 RoboCoin Bitcoin ATMs. The ATMs work by asking the user for a Bitcoin wallet identifier, usually in the form of a QR barcode. Money is then deposited into the machine, and after deducting a nominal transaction fee, the wallet is credited in Bitcoin.
Bitcoiniacs' brick-and-mortar shop already deals with cash to Bitcoin transfers, but so far requires appointments to be booked to conduct such transactions.
RoboCoin is competing directly with New Hampshire entrepreneurs Zach Harvey and Matt Whitlock, who are already accepting pre-orders for their own $5,000 Bitcoin ATM.
Both ATMs can be purchased in fiat currency or Bitcoin.