It's all coming together out there. Bitcoin fans, prepare your passports. If you want to be among the first to use a Bitcoin ATM, head to Canada.
What's being billed as the world's first Bitcoin ATM is set to enter service next week in Vancouver, according to local operator and broker Bitcoiniacs and Nevada-based manufacturer Robocoin.
The $18,500 ATM will debut in downtown coffee shop Waves as the first of five Bitcoin machines that will be deployed across the country.
They'll trade the increasingly popular digital currency for Canadian dollars and vice versa, with a CAD $3,000 daily limit ($2,870) for each user.
The ATMs will use palm scans to identify users and enforce the limit, which is also designed to prevent problems with anti-money-laundering laws.
Users can deposit Canadian cash in the machines and it's then exchanged on Canada's VirtEx for Bitcoins. The corresponding credit is in recorded in the user's online Bitcoin wallet. Similarly, online Bitcoins can be used to purchase Canadian cash from the machines.
UPDATE: Canada isn't the first to get this machine.
SAN DIEGO - 05/02/2013 The first ever Bitcoin ATM was unveiled Thursday, putting San Diego at the forefront of this new technology.
BitcoinATM CEO Evan Rose, a San Diegan, said, "Basically allowing people to buy Bitcoins with cash, cash Bitcoins out right on the spot."
Bitcoin are not physical currency; they are digital currency that can be sent through the Internet without going through a bank or clearinghouse. It's anonymous on the free market, and the financial world is watching this new way of exchanging currency closely.
Bitcoin can be used to buy products online with merchants who accept them.
"Bitcoin is inherently technical; it's somewhat difficult to buy, it's very difficult to exchange Bitcoin for hard currency and the solution that we've come up with in the very familiar ATM platform accomplishes all three of those bottlenecks," said Rose.
Right now, all Bitcoin exchanges are done online, but the new ATM changes it all by allowing users to get cash out or make deposits to their accounts.
Users can walk up to the machine and make a deposit. The user then gets a receipt and that receipt has a confirmation number on it. That confirmation number can be given to anybody around the world and they can go up to a machine and make a withdrawal themselves.
There are several currency exchanges where users can trade Bitcoin for dollars, Euro and more. The value is all based on currency, and on May 2, 1 Bitcoin was worth about $100.
"Bitcoin is an idea whose time has come," said Rose.
Bitcoin ATMs could soon be in neighborhoods and cities all over the world in 3 to 6 months.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
Are you ready?