Bitcoin ATMs Coming to the United States...Maybe

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The digital currency known as Bitcoin may be getting its own ATM in the United States. The machine would allow Bitcoin holders to withdrawal money in the form of US dollars or add cash to their Bitcoin account.

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Las Vegas-based Robocoin, who opened the first Bitcoin ATM last year in Vancouver, Canada, is behind this latest endeavor. The company wants to install machines in Seattle and Austin by the end of February.

Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley told CNN that he hopes the ATMs will help the digital currency shed its mystique and association with illegal activities. “We’re trying to move Bitcoin, put it in the mainstream, bring it to the masses,” he told CNN. “To do that, some things have to go by the wayside, and one of them is anonymity.”

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But Jeff John Roberts of Gigaom said if you’re waiting for Bitcoin ATM to come to a location near you, “Don’t hold your breath.” Robocoin announced last year that it would install Bitcoin ATMs in New York and Los Angeles, but so far hasn’t. The problem, Roberts said, could be that the machines need to comply with money transfer laws that require purchasers are able to verify their identity. In Vancouver, the ATM has a biometric scanner.

Like most ATMs, this one will also charge a small transaction fee.

Credit: ANDY CLARK/Reuters/Corbis

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