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Canada Bitcoin The Almighty Buck

Bitcoin Kiosks Coming To 5 Canadian Cities 121

Posted by timothy
from the that-and-100-grams-of-moose-will-getcha-a-cup-of-coffee dept.
dreamstateseven writes "Canadian Bitcoin enthusiasts will be able to exchange Canadian cash for the digital currency through a kiosk that's similar to an ATM. Bitcoiniacs says it has ordered five Bitcoin kiosks from a Las Vegas-based company called RoboCoin and intends to roll them out across Canada in the coming months, with the first machine expected to land in Vancouver in early October. The kiosks allow users to select how much money they would like to spend, insert cash into the machine and then scan a QR code on their phone to transfer the Bitcoins to their wallet."
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Bitcoin Kiosks Coming To 5 Canadian Cities

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  • Wake me up when this happens.
  • by Shoten (260439) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @06:22PM (#44792727)

    It's interesting that they're willing to sell bitcoins...but not buy them. Sounds to me like they think that bitcoins will lose their value in due course. One could argue that they're only worried about the security implications of an ATM that gives cash in exchange for a digital currency, but if that were the case, then they'd have at least as much to worry about with just handing out bitcoins anyways (which aren't free).

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by edmanet (1790914)
      They have to buy bitcoins in order to sell them, right? While I don't see the need for a bitcoin ATM, I do believe bitcoin is useful to the internet economy as a good method for micro payments. If Paypal or Google created this crypto coin idea, people would probably be more accepting and the conversion rate to fiat currency would stabilize. That's my .0002btc
      • by nomadic (141991)
        BitCoins are already fiat currency. In some ways they are more fiat than any other currency on earth.
        • The word fiat means "by decree". A fiat currency is one that is decreed to have value by a government. Bitcoins derive their value by market consensus. They are the opposite of a fiat currency.

          • by lxs (131946)

            No no no no no. The term "fiat currency" means:

            I am the very model of a Slashdot libertarian
            I post on things I know not of and act quite the contrarian
            I read Any Rand I own bitcoins a human very rare I am
            For I am the very model of a Slashdot libertarian

            Ron Paul is quite by far my favorite octogenarian
            Even though his politics are mostly antiquarian
            He lets me smoke my pot in peace that really is quite cool of him
            Therefore I am the very model of a Slashdot libertarian.

      • by tftp (111690)

        Bitcoin is unusable for micropayments (as if anyone cares about those.) The reasons are simple. First, each BTC is very expensive (tens of US Dollars each.) Second, the fee for payment is pretty expensive. Mathematically it is small, 0.5 mBTC, but it is enormous when you want to send 1 mBTC (0.126 USD as of today.) In theory, small transactions (both in bytes and in BTC) shouldn't have the fee, but... the fee is charged anyhow.

        One can rebuild the client without the fee, but then your transaction will tak [bitcointalk.org]

        • Bitcoin is well suited to micropayments. Mike Hearn has a micropayment scheme in his Bitcoinj implementation: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=244656.0 [bitcointalk.org] It's a rather elegant example of true innovation in this heavily researched topic (note that the NSF and DARPA funded research on digital currency in part to try and solve the massively high volume, low value transactions they anticipated the internet would require...for things like paying a very small amount for a very small but of content). Digita
          • by tftp (111690)

            you can login via Facebook like I just did here to post

            I'm afraid you have to surrender your geek card immediately :-)

        • by Agent ME (1411269)

          First, each BTC is very expensive (tens of US Dollars each.)

          How is that relevant? You can use less than a whole BTC, as you seem to acknowledge in your post. You can just call 1 BTC as 1000 mBTC if you want. Complaining that 1000 mBTC is expensive is like criticizing the US Dollar because hundred dollar bills are expensive.

          • by tftp (111690)

            It is relevant for micropayments. They are small - from 1 cent to 10 cents, as theorized (they don't exist.) Since each BTC is large (1000 mBTC == USD$ 126) the micropayment in BTC will be between 0.1 and 1 mBTC.

            Now that we established that, the transaction fee is 0.5 mBTC. It is not a percentage of the payment, it's a fixed fee. How much would you like to use a payment system that takes from 50% to 80% of your payment just for the privilege of using it? Most of your money will be spent on BTC network se

        • The fee now for a typical transaction is 0.1 mBTC, currently 1.3 US cent. (This is for up to a 1 KB transaction)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Gold, that wonderful investment that will save the world.

      What, say that again? You will take my soon to be worthless cash for GOLD! You must be crazy. You yourself told me cash would soon be worthless and GOLD will save the planet from poverty.

      • Re:Much like Gold (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dunbal (464142) * on Sunday September 08, 2013 @06:34PM (#44792799)
        Gold is a safe haven not an investment.
        • Gold is a safe haven not an investment.

          Those like myself that invested in significant amounts of gold ( > 50,000 US ) disagree.

          • by Dunbal (464142) *
            Fair enough. I bought loads of it when it was around $400 an ounce to protect part of my capital. I don't see that as an investment. I also have no plans on selling it. And I sleep very well at night, even with the economy lagging the way it is.
            • by Kosmatos (179297)

              Help me understand. You bought gold, to protect your capital. But do you have the actual gold? Or do you just have a receipt that you own a certain amount, trusting that this document will be recognized?

              Even if you do have the actual gold, I'm skeptical about how much you can actually use it in times of need.

              • by Dunbal (464142) *
                I have actual, physical, solid gold. I have silver too. Silver is more practical than gold for "everyday" use. But you're right, gold "funds" and gold "certificates" are useless. The only problem with the metal is storing it.
          • Yup, when people are scared of their other options, they pile into gold, then gold goes up, and a profit is to be had for the first group to predict a scare.

            My question is, and this is an open question that I'm not sure if there is an answer to or not is: Is there still a lot of gold in Fort Knox compared to when we were on the gold standard. My guess would be that the nation used that gold for covert ops when we went fiat. Once the money was found solvent, suddenly that was like having a Fort Knox wo
            • by egamma (572162)

              Does anyone know if there is gold in Fort Knox still? Or is this one of those questions that isn't supposed to be asked or answered? If so, I apologize for asking it, but I'd be enlightened to know anything about this situation.

              147.3 million troy ounces [usmint.gov]

              And, if you don't believe the government, the Mint is audited by KPMG [usmint.gov]

              • Thanks bud for the information. The more you know. I didn't want to google it and run across dozens of conspiracy sites.

                Having a fort full of gold is good in dire emergency. It sounds to be about 200 billion dollars.
          • by Anonymous Coward

            Get out while you can, gold is going to crash under $500 by 2020.

            Gold for jewelry has fallen out of fashion in favor of titanium, carbide, and other durable and flashy metals. Other than jewelry gold has very limited uses, almost exclusively in obscure sensitive electronics. The recent prices of gold have driven most users to find alternatives which, unlike jewelry trends, permanently decreases industrial demand. Highly conductive nanoparticles are a good example of developing technologies that will replace

            • Other than jewelry gold has very limited uses, almost exclusively in obscure sensitive electronics.

              Like smartphones, PCs and high-quality A/V cables?

    • by cOle2 (225350) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @06:34PM (#44792803) Homepage

      If you read the article linked, you will know that these machines will both sell and BUY bitcoins.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Bitcoin up or down, there is always money to be made in the transaction fee. What...you thought you were going to get free or going/instant market rate bit coins?!?!

      • transaction fees (Score:5, Insightful)

        by King_TJ (85913) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @07:57PM (#44793223) Journal

        Yep, you just hit on what I think is pretty much "key" here.

        When you look at all of the (often ridiculous) alt-coins out there on the exchanges, you realize developers can create a new one out of thin air, based on the source code used to design a previous coin, give it a new name, and voila - it's out there.

        The truth is though, investors are only buying the things because they're cheap (think "penny stocks" here) and because at least early on, it's possible to buy enough of the sum total of the coins in existence so you can play "pump and dump" schemes -- forcing the price up temporarily with big purchase orders, and cashing in for a tidy little profit when you sell them all off again ASAP.

        The online exchanges are more than happy to list these worthless "joke coins" though because they get a cut of each transaction, no matter what happens. As long as someone is willing to put in buy and sell orders, it's worth offering.

        Of course, bitcoin has established itself far more than these other alt-coins (perhaps simply the privilege of being first with the idea?), and is actually accepted as currency for a number of goods and services -- but the same thing applies. If you're helping the currency change hands, you're always earning a profit off the top, no matter if the coin's value is headed up or down. It's the best "investment position" of all from the standpoint of safely making a steady profit.

    • by msobkow (48369)

      Sounds to me more like they're interested in tapping into the "Silk Road" market, seeing as they take cash.

      • And because they take cash anonymously, they will probably run into government harassment in the name of money laundering. I noticed bitinstant stopped taking money anonymously citing government pressure.
    • It's interesting that they're willing to sell bitcoins...but not buy them.

      A grocery store is willing to sell you a bottle of milk. But if you take a bottle of milk into a grocery store, they won't buy it.

      • by tftp (111690)

        Milk is not money. Money is supposed to be universally exchangeable. That's the whole purpose.

    • by Agent ME (1411269)

      How is this Score:4? Has no one read the article?

      The kiosks allow users to select how much money they would like to spend, insert cash into the machine and then scan a QR code on their phone to transfer the Bitcoins to their wallet. It also allows users to redeem their Bitcoins for cash.

    • by ponraul (1233704)
      Nah. Just that people want an anonymous way to buy them for drug deals without having to be turbo nerds.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @06:39PM (#44792833)

    The real trick here will be to get a two way system of CASH to bitcoins. From a physical untraceable medium of exchange to a digital one.

    Many governments of course have a problem with it. We'll see what happens.

    I am of two minds about it.

    I think the average person should be able to do this sort of thing. I also want the government to be able to track and trace this stuff if they really need to do it.

    I guess, I want there to be some way to track it but I want it to be complicated, time consuming, and generally not worth it unless they REALLY want to know. If there were some terrorists going to blow up thousands of people... I'd want there to be a way to stop that. But I generally want to be personally left alone to do what I want.

    • Everyone should be able to have it, and eat it too.

    • So you want to have your cake and eat it too? Welcome to the general mentality of our generation.

      The simple truth is that social freedom is not free. It comes with a price. And the opposite of freedom, control, comes with consequences. You either need to be willing to pay the price of freedom, or live with the consequences of control. You can't have both. I wish more people understood that.
      • So I need to accept anarchy or despotism?

        There is no possibility of having reasonable counter measures to hostile forces AND civil rights?

        Give me an f'ing break.

        What are you advocating for here? Mass human enslavement? Or are you advocating for the dissolution of human society itself?

        Reevaluate your argument. Its irrational and politically counter productive.

        In the words of my generation... your comment is retarded. Try again.

        Before you presume to be offended, I'll point out you came off as hostile to me wi

        • by tom229 (1640685)
          I'm not advocating anything, I'm not an idealist. And I'll apologize for appearing hostile. It wasn't my intent.

          To elaborate, I'm not claiming your only choices are anarchy or despotism, I'm just stating that you can either have real freedom, or you can have governance... you can't have both. Sure, you can try to fumble around with a complicated system of trusts and balances but it will eventually, and always, gradually atrophy into abuse by those in power and apathy by the complacent public.

          If you give
          • Your definition of real freedom appears to be anarchy and your definition of governance appears to be unrestrained unlimited government peonage.

            I do not see how you can make the argument that I can only have one of those two options.

            What's more, anarchy is self defeating. So you're really saying I have no choice but peonage. I will resist that.

            What I want is for them to have enough authority to deal with extreme situations but for the power to be awkward enough that it won't be used in anything but extreme

    • by ultranova (717540)

      If there were some terrorists going to blow up thousands of people... I'd want there to be a way to stop that. But I generally want to be personally left alone to do what I want.

      As the last 10+ years have proven beyond any shadow of doubt, that's not possible. You either have the Lidless Eye watching everything you do and occasionally catching bad guys, or you don't. Even if we assume a hypothethical intelligence agent who's absolutely immune to corruption, they still have no magical ability to tell whethe

      • I don't think you appreciate what I'm saying.

        I am saying it is fine if the government can breach the security and get the information.

        It just have to be complicated and labor intensive to such an extent that they don't do it unless they have probable cause.

        I don't see why everything has to be easily searchable by automated computer systems when what we're tracking is a minority of a minority of a minority.

  • by elucido (870205) on Sunday September 08, 2013 @06:40PM (#44792837)

    Until we can donate with Bitcoins how serious should we take all these pro Bitcoin articles if the site itself doesn't trust the technology?

  • Most US and Canadian dollars and euros and yen are just numbers in a computer. Why do we need bitcoin, you can only buy trendy overpriced crap from a relatively few places with it. and its value recently is volatile as hell [blockchain.info] Fuck bitcoins.

    • by Agent ME (1411269)

      The important part about bitcoin isn't that it's digital. That's been done many times. The revolutionary part is that it's decentralized. There is no government, organization, or corporation controlling it. There is no one who can freeze your account. There is no one who can set limits on your account. There is no one who can control who you can send money to. There is no one who can turn up the mint rate and destabilize the market.

      • by Animats (122034)

        There is no one who can freeze your account. There is no one who can set limits on your account. There is no one who can control who you can send money to. There is no one who can turn up the mint rate and destabilize the market.

        If only that were true. Ask the users with thousands of dollars stuck in Mt. Gox, or worse, one of the "exchange" or "online wallet" companies that went bust. Sure, you can ship Bitcoins around, but there are serious liquidity problems doing anything with them.

    • It's ok people were initially scared of paper money too :)
  • My dumbphone can't scan QR codes or run a wallet. How would using Bitcoin help me afford the hundreds of dollars per year that it would cost me or someone else in my situation to upgrade to a smartphone?
    • You mean the ~$50 it costs to buy a used phone off craigslist and use it as a portable computing device with no phone service (and therefore no re-occurring cost)... If you can't manage that then bitcoin probably isn't the problem.... Honestly if you are using bitcoin then you probably have friends with an unused android device they could just give you....
      • You mean the ~$50 it costs to buy a used phone off craigslist and use it as a portable computing device with no phone service

        I own such a portable computing device: an Archos 43 Internet Tablet. But I thought one needed cellular data service in order to have a data connection with which to act on the information in the scanned QR code. Or is there a procedure that allows scanning the QR code, waiting several minutes to an hour to find a Wi-Fi connection, and then acting on the scan?

        • Not being familiar with the idea, and steadfastly refusing to read the article, I'd imagine that it wouldn't be hard for them to include a wifi access point in the terminal, as it probably needs access as well. Could cause a potential conflict with both sides of the request coming from the same IP, but it's all things you can work out.

    • by Agent ME (1411269)

      I don't live in Canada. How are these Bitcoin kiosks going to help me or someone else who can't even get to them?

  • I thought it was just Vancouver and Montreal, with nothing but polar bears and bleached reindeer skeletons in between.

    • by egamma (572162)
      Toronto's the capital. Calgary's a pretty cool city. That's 4...
      • by tftp (111690)

        I lived in Toronto for a while, but I never knew that it's the capital [wikipedia.org] of Canada.

      • by garyoa1 (2067072)

        Toronto is the capital of what? Canada? You don't get out much, do you.

        • by Livius (318358)

          Toronto is the capital of what?

          The Province of Ontario.

          So Toronto is a capital of something.

      • by mirix (1649853)

        Ottawa is the capital. If you include the greater area and Gatineau (across the river), they have a population of around 1.2M, rounding out the top 5. (calgary is about a tie in population).

        • by H0p313ss (811249)

          Sixth on this list [wikipedia.org] smaller than Calgary by 10%.

          Thinking Toronto is the capital is like thinking New York is the capital of the United States, when it isn't even the capital of New York State.

  • am i the only one who thinks, hey lets steal this machine, plug it in at home, break it open and then get unlimited amounts of bitcoins?
  • by nomadic (141991)
    Couldn't you get the same effect for less money by just setting up paper shredders?
  • Beer
    Buds
    Bandwidth
    Bitcoin

    You guys Rock!

  • http://blockchain.info/charts/blocks-size [blockchain.info]

    looks unsustainable to me

    from:
    http://blockchain.info/charts [blockchain.info]

    • You don't have to download the whole blockchain to use Bitcoin. You can use clients such as MultiBit (https://multibit.org - I am the lead dev) or Electrum (http://electrum.org). These are only a few megabytes to download and you'll be up and running in minutes.
  • I pay for things with TimBits all the time.

  • i still need to know how to INVEST in bitcoins.

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