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World's First Bitcoin ATM

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the baby-steps-to-legitimacy dept.

Bitcoin 437

bill_mcgonigle writes "I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client and held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner. After I fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, I got back a confirmation QR code on its display, which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL. The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."

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Ironic (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998915)

Whats ironic about this is that the bank note is now just as worthless as a bitcoin.

Re:Ironic (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998967)

Actually the bitcoin is worth more because it's very difficult to expand the bitcoin supply while expanding the currency supply is trivial.

Meta Article (2)

Nialin (570647) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998997)

Incidentally, this whole article is rather meta, due to the whole "first" aspect of it.

Re:Meta Article (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999167)

"Meta post!"? Doesn't haven't the same ring, sorry.

Re:Ironic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999241)

Well, a dye-sublimation printer works pretty well but I can never find paper that looks quite right.

Or did you mean something else?

Re:Ironic (1)

Sussurros (2457406) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999479)

southworth cv 100% cotton paper

That's just pure criminal counterfeiting. (-1, Troll)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999535)

southworth cv 100% cotton paper

It's unfortunate that slashdot is such a magnet for such blatant, felony-level criminality. Even just posting that information to encourage others is quite possibly a federal crime.

Re:Ironic (2)

blue trane (110704) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999275)

Why does artificial scarcity create value? Only if the items are "positional goods"; if they derive value from others not having it. But money should be a tool to help raise standard of living and improve conditions for everyone.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999497)

I posit that artifical scarcity alone does not create value. However, with no artificial scarcity a money cannot hope to maintain value.

History teaches us that successful currencies have a number of properties including:
- scarcity
- divisibility
- durability
- value as something other than a money (let's say "intrinsic value")

Gold has been the most successful money and has all of these properties but is costly to send and costly to store.
Bitcoin is an experiment where intrinsic value is sacrificed for highly efficient transfer and storage. Clearly, Bitcoin is succeeding in the medium term but the long term effects of having no intrinsic value are truly open to speculation.

Aside: Fiat can be thought of as an experiment in replacing essentially physically enforced scarcity for a legal one; this experiment is ongoing and while there are certainly economic advantages, there is no denying the obvious, expected disadvantage that fiat is a poor storage of wealth.

Re:Ironic (2, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998969)

that's my thought.

The only thing holding value in the US dollar is ignorance. One of these days people will slowly realize that the USA has no money and can't pay it's debts as the USA like most of the western world don't know anything about virtual money.

You can't spend more than you take in, but we let governments guess at how much they are taking in and spend 10-20% more than that because they like thinking the GDP has some relevance to the government income of tax revenue.

One simple law could solve the long term finical issues. The base amount the government can spend is equal to the previous years tax revenue. Anything beyond that must be in the form of a loan, war bond etc, that needs to be paid back.

Re:Ironic (5, Insightful)

murdocj (543661) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998999)

Speaking of ignorance... the only reason ANY currency is worth ANYTHING is that people are willing to exchange it for something else.

Perhaps you could start by learning to spell "financial"?

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999323)

Grandparent post demonstrates that ignorance is not in danger of running out any time soon.

Re:Ironic (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999505)

...but it's so much more fun to rant about the Big Bad Government doing everything wrong, and how one simple change can fix everything...

Looks like an honest typing mistake. (1, Informative)

Andy Prough (2730467) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999553)

He seemed to spell most everything else correctly.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999215)

Sir, you deserve more modpoints.

Re:Ironic (1)

brokenin2 (103006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999227)

That won't work, because the US government would just take out a shit pile of loans pro-actively instead of retro-actively.

Re:Ironic (3, Informative)

blue trane (110704) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999305)

Why can't you spend more money than you take it? In fact the US has done this since its inception, and predictions about its demise have gone unfulfilled. Grandchildren have continued to be better off than their grandparents, despite the hyperbolic paranoia of deficit hawks screaming that the sky is falling since Alexander Hamilton's doctrine of assumption created the first national debt.

Re:Ironic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999549)

Of course, a government can spend more than you take in, but only if it is supported by an eternally growing economy and the total amount borrowed is a linear function of the economy. This, unfortunately, is a weak position to be in should you face a recession/depression.

If a government tried instead to maintain savings proportional to the GDP (maintained a treasury) it would not have this weakness and arguably much more power and flexibility when it came to recessions in applying Keynesian strategies to promote economic health.

Re:Ironic (1)

AuMatar (183847) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999343)

No, the thing holding together the US dollar is common acceptance. It has value because I can go to the store and be assured the man behind the counter will take it. We do that because it's better than a barter system, and we've all mutually agreed to use dollars. The only thing that could harm that would be a large number of people suddenly deciding not to accept it. The amount of debt the US government issues has no bearing on it, unless they decide to massively print money to pay off that debt. Nobody accepts dollars because of the amount of US debt, they accept it because they know they can trade it again.

Re:Ironic (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999471)

It has value because I can go to the store and be assured the man behind the counter will take it. We do that because it's better than a barter system, and we've all mutually agreed to use dollars.

Businesses take it because when the IRS knocks, the only payment that will be accepted is in USD.

The only thing that could harm that would be a large number of people suddenly deciding not to accept it.

How will those people pay the IRS if that happened?

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999377)

The only thing holding value in the US dollar is ignorance.

No, it's the $15 trillion in economic output.

Re:Ironic (5, Interesting)

r1348 (2567295) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999385)

Actually I recently read a paper from Tim Morgan, a researcher at Tullett Prebon, that claims that the economy is basically just a dynamic balance between produced energy and consumed energy, and currency is just an intermediary state that loses meaning if there's no energy to buy with it (every product is as valuable as the energy used to craft it). This basically associated the economy to physics, and not to finance, and defines debt as a bet on future energy.

You can read the full paper here http://www.tullettprebon.com/strategyinsights/media_resources.aspx [tullettprebon.com]

Re:Ironic (4, Insightful)

ahabswhale (1189519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999437)

Translation: you're super pissed that the dollar is holding its value regardless of the US debt.

Want a tissue?

p.s. You have no idea how currency works.

Re:Ironic (1)

hydrofix (1253498) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999519)

One of these days people will slowly realize that the USA has no money and can't pay it's debts as the USA like most of the western world don't know anything about virtual money.

Well, you still can't change the fact that the USD is the world's reserve currency and the de facto universal currency for measuring the value of "stuff". Wanna buy some BitCoins? Browse to Mt.Gox and the BitCoins' exchange rate is expressed in USD for exactly this reason.

If a distributed virtual currency is to replace the fiat currencies, the process is going to be slow and manageable, and will take decades. It will also require the co-operation of those in control of the present-day fiat currencies. I don't have any hard figures, but I bet even though gold has been around much longer than distributed virtual currencies, only a fraction of world's wealth is in gold; much more is in government bonds and foreign cash reserves. So even if one currency has immediate value, it obviously does not lead to the collapse of other currencies that have only fiat value. Fiat currencies are backed by governments, which are very powerful.

Re:Ironic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998977)

Whats ironic about this is that the bank note is now just as worthless as a bitcoin.

Incorrect troll is incorrect.

Re:Ironic (5, Funny)

B33rNinj4 (666756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999199)

I disagree. Ever try to give a stripper or hooker bitcoins? Bad idea...trust me.

How does it feel? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42998983)

How does it feel using a currency primarily used by terrorists, druggies, and child pornographers?

Re:How does it feel? (5, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999001)

A lot of people use US dollars without concern. Ignorance is bliss

Re:How does it feel? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999027)

Which part of "primarily" is giving you problems there, sparky?

Re:How does it feel? (5, Informative)

trout007 (975317) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999075)

You put primarily in the wrong place.

The currency primarily used by terrorists, druggies, and child pornographers is the US Dollar.

You may have intended to say the currency used primarily by those groups.

Re:How does it feel? (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999271)

Hey, come on. TFA says after 4 years Bitcoin is being used by a "handful of businesses," including a sweets bakery in San Francisco. At that rate Henry Ford would have had about 105 cars in circulation by now! Look out for that Bitcoin juggernaut!

Re:How does it feel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999327)

Grammar, how does it work?

Re:How does it feel? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999015)

Pretty darn safe?

Re:How does it feel? (1)

maztuhblastah (745586) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999301)

Yeah, well... I still use the US dollar despite that.

Kidding aside, I have to wonder why people such as yourself like to sling mud at the idea? If I didn't know better I'd suspect jealousy.

You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#42998985)

Congratulations.

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999145)

While BTC as currency is volatile, other currencies suffrer from this too as pretty much every currency is not backed by anything (except US army going down on your ass etc). It has dozens of black market uses so it's pretty much standard now for illegal gambling, drugs and ransoms. I see bright future for BTC once governments try to ban it and spread awareness of BTC because of that.

BTC is also a new frontier similar to market shares. It's useless to mine it uneless you're lucky enough to get specialised ASIC but if you bought BTC two months ago and sold them now you'd earn 30-40% of invested capital.

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (4, Insightful)

OneAhead (1495535) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999253)

While BTC as currency is volatile, other currencies suffrer from this too as pretty much every currency is not backed by anything (except US army going down on your ass etc).

At the risk of sounding cynical, the US army going down on your ass definitely classifies as "something" to me...

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999449)

And they don't take payment in bitcoin either.

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999269)

You make it sound like Bitcoin, a small but quickly growing experimental transaction system, has a similar volatility problem to the world's largest fiat currencies. This is clearly not true.

If you bought bitcoins 2 months ago and sold today you would have made 90-140% (depending on what you traded for, 120% for USD) of the invested capital. The could easily lose or gain 50% against most currencies/commodities over the next month. People holding bitcoins have to accept this serious volatility. Merchants need to change their prices rapidly as value rises or falls (there are tools to help with this of course). Users should not hold more than they can comfortably afford to lose suddenly and completely.

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (3, Informative)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999337)

You make it sound like Bitcoin, a small but quickly growing experimental transaction system, has a similar volatility problem to the world's largest fiat currencies. This is clearly not true.

If you bought bitcoins 2 months ago and sold today you would have made 90-140% (depending on what you traded for, 120% for USD) of the invested capital. The could easily lose or gain 50% against most currencies/commodities over the next month. People holding bitcoins have to accept this serious volatility. Merchants need to change their prices rapidly as value rises or falls (there are tools to help with this of course). Users should not hold more than they can comfortably afford to lose suddenly and completely.

Right there. That's the reason why it's not prudent to exchange dollars for bitcoins.

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999383)

You must then acknowledge that it's not prudent to hold dollars in a savings account (or under a mattress) either. Becuase the *official* inflation rate is around 2%, about 1.5% higher than the interest paid on a savings account. And in about half a decade the monetary supply has been doubled to bail out the banks, so we can guess that "real" inflation is quite a big higher (or maybe they'll "fix" it by making price caps like in Argentina!!!)

The point is, holding dollars is guaranteed losses due to inflation. If it isn't prudent to hold bitcoins (which have been *appreciating* significantly over 4 years, so much so that RunToGold.com points out that gold is "collapsing" against bitcoin!) then it is at least just as imprudent to hold dollars.

Re:You gave them cash and got bitcoins back? (0)

Kittenman (971447) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999309)

Congratulations.

And want to buy this bridge I have?

Waiting for the other shoe (3, Interesting)

Great Big Bird (1751616) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999003)

to drop... I am waiting for some kind of bad security hole. How many bitcoin sites have been laughably insecure?

Re:Waiting for the other shoe (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999381)

It's nice to see a Slashdot commenter that generally thinks Bitcoin is a bad idea but isn't a complete idiot. The drooling retards shouting PONZI (such as dblll) only serve to undermine the anti-Bitcoin argument.

As the first such ATM, I too expect a security issue of some kind. Bitcoin practically has a tradition of throwing the first attempt at a new idea under the joke-security bus.

That said, second and third generations of attempts spring up quickly and learn a great deal from past failures. The extremely hard, fast, and hostile environment of Bitcoin simulates a potent form of evolution for technical security.

Re:Waiting for the other shoe (2)

brokenin2 (103006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999467)

This one would be on you.. You control the security of the key that the money is sent to. Now if they don't send you the money, there's an issue you'll need to work out with them, but your risk is limited to: from the time you put the money in the machine, to the time you receive it.. Depending on how sure you want to be, that's anywhere from about 10 seconds to an hour.

Unreal (0, Troll)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999007)

You just gave them real money and got nothing back in exchange. Stupid beyond belief.

Re:Unreal (1)

rtaylor (70602) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999053)

You just gave them real money and got a few hundred thousand web visits worth a few hundred dollars.

Re: Unreal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999089)

How is one real and the other unreal?

If with the bitcoins he got he is able to purchase online or otherwise stuff of equivalent price to $20, then I would say it's a fai deal.

Re:Unreal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999179)

Not stupid...fucking brilliant. With I'd thought of this scam.

Worth more when it goes both ways (5, Insightful)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999017)

It will be a far more useful offering when I can both give it currency to be credited bitcoins, and transfer bitcoins to it to receive currency.

Re:Worth more when it goes both ways (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999345)

You can already do that easily using exchanges but yes, it would be nice.

Re:Worth more when it goes both ways (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999487)

Why would you want to give it anything when you could walk away with the machine and steal all their bitcoins instead?

Is this in Nevada or Atlantic City? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999019)

I thought gambling was illegal most other places.

Re: Is this in Nevada or Atlantic City? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999103)

So foreign exchange trading is illegal?

How about stock market? Commodity trading?

Re: Is this in Nevada or Atlantic City? (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999365)

Calling it a currency is misleading. To be a currency, something has to be generally accepted as payment for goods, services and debts, at least within some geographic area. Bitcoin is a digital commodity that mostly can't be used to buy or sell anything without first finding a buyer to turn it back into money.

Re:Is this in Nevada or Atlantic City? (2, Interesting)

brokenin2 (103006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999493)

It's funny all the people calling anyone getting into Bitcoin suckers. It'd be fun to see if one of them would dare to mark the price of Bitcoin for each time they've made a comment link that. I'm one of those "Bitcoin suckers".... At this point, I've got about 30 grand to show for my original $19.50 investment.. Boy, you've really made me feel like a sucker now haven't you. There was a one month period (shorter actually) where you could have bought them and held them until now and lost some USD on them if you were to sell today.. It's looking more and more like soon, that won't even be true.. It will soon become impossible to have lost money on them. Fools! Fools! You're all fools!!! Oh, uh.. Why didn't I do that? What amazes me is how long it's going to take some of you to realize you were the fools, despite the indisputable math, and the fact that no one made anyone any promises you'll still be yelling 'Ponzi Scheme' for years to come. Good for you. More power to ya.

Of course, buy them, and trade them, and you can easily lose money, but that's just because you're not as smart as the other bitcoin traders.. You could do that trading gummy bears as well...

uber-geek issues (3, Interesting)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999083)

"I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client and held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner. After I fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, I got back a confirmation QR code on its display, which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL. The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."

Most of those words mean nothing to the vast majority of the worlds population.

Re:uber-geek issues (2)

swilde23 (874551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999115)

and this is slashdot... not the vast majority of the world...

Re:uber-geek issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999169)

and this is slashdot...

...where the majority of people are already bored of Pi stories.

Re:uber-geek issues (1)

swilde23 (874551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999213)

Perhaps. But that's not because of some technological arcaneness to the stories (which is all my rebuttal was about)

Re:uber-geek issues (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999177)

and this is slashdot... not the vast majority of the world...

I get that. And this is one of the most geeked out sites going. But holy crap. An article about "buying" bitcoins, via some arcane series of steps?
Why would yo do that?

Re:uber-geek issues (1)

swilde23 (874551) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999201)

I guess it doesn't seem all that arcane to me.
1) Install an app
2) scan a qr code
3) insert money
4) scan a qr code

Re:uber-geek issues (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999391)

go the fuck back to Ars!

Re:uber-geek issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999513)

"I just bought bitcoins from the World's first Bitcoin ATM at Liberty Forum. I created an account using an Android Bitcoin client and held up its QR code to the Raspberry Pi-based device's optical scanner. After I fed in a $20 Federal Reserve Note, I got back a confirmation QR code on its display, which I then scanned and checked the third-party confirmation URL. The machine can function on any wireless network and will soon be available for purchase by merchants, who can make a commission on customers' Bitcoin purchases."

Most of those words mean nothing to the vast majority of the worlds population.

Let me try:

So I used a program running on my handheld telephone (which is also a computer) to open an account with a system that deals in a sort of money that doesn't physically exist but you can trade through computers over this globally connected public computer network called the Internet. Then I went to an automated teller machine made using a very tiny, cheap, versatile computer and held up a bar-code like identifying graphic displayed on my handheld telephone's screen to the teller machine's camera eye. Then I put in some money into the teller machine and it displayed another identifying graphic on its screen. Then I used my handheld telephone (which also has a camera) to take in this image, which it can convert into text. This text corresponds to a unique page created just for this transaction on the Internet, confirming to me that I'm now holding an amount of this non-physical currency that is equivalent to the amount of real money I put in.

Re:uber-geek issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999537)

Fortunately, the (current) target market of BitCoins pretty much only includes those who understand those terms. Kind of like back in the 90s if you didn't know how to pronounce "SCSI" you probably didn't need it. :)

Goodbye, Slashdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999085)

This was the last straw. Seriously, fuck bitcoins, and fuck you.

Re:Goodbye, Slashdot (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999141)

Don't let the Log out button hit you on the way out.

Re:Goodbye, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999183)

..yup, monotonous does, as monotony is.

Seriously, WTF is this constant Bitcoin trolling nonsense at all?

Re:Goodbye, Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999423)

Slashdot is losing an Anonymous Coward?
Oh the humanity!

A bitcoin ATM? Awesome (2)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999107)

I'll say this right now and you can quote me. Bitcoin is going to CHANGE THE WORLD!

An ATM in shopping centres which allows people to exchange actual paper money for digital currency? What vendor wouldn't jump at an opportunity to operate such a machine? And once the machines are in every bar and shopping centre, the vendors will naturally all fall into line and allow people to spend bitcoins. This is a WHOLE new way of exchanging money.

What's next? The Silk Road machine? .. Genius.

Re:A bitcoin ATM? Awesome (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999393)

Exactly what they need, a relatively cumbersome way of getting paid compared to all the other methods they're used to using, and being paid with something that may fluctuate wildly in relation to the money they use to pay their rent and buy their merchandise?

First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999131)

..to troll yet another new way of Bitcoin scamming gullible fooks on /.

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999147)

One of the main problems Bitcoin has at the moment is the difficulty involved with trading it for fiat currencies. I hope some adventurous merchants in the Bitcoin hotspots take advantage of this!

Android, Raspberry Pi, Bitcoin in a single summary (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999171)

Android, Raspberry Pi, and Bitcoin in a single summary? Just needs an Apple or 3D printing angle and it'll be slashdot buzzword bingo.

Re:Android, Raspberry Pi, Bitcoin in a single summ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999191)

Android, Raspberry Pi, and Bitcoin in a single summary? Just needs an Apple or 3D printing angle and it'll be slashdot buzzword bingo.

Nevermind - the article mentions an iPhone app, too. Bingo!

Re:Android, Raspberry Pi, Bitcoin in a single summ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999239)

Android, Raspberry Pi, and Bitcoin in a single summary? Just needs an Apple or 3D printing angle and it'll be slashdot buzzword bingo.

Nevermind - the article mentions an iPhone app, too. Googloo!

Let me fix that for you.

Talking Points of bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999197)

Why is every bitcoin article start with the talking points about bitcoins? The only issue with bitcoins is their volatility. Its the same issue gold has. Someone has to decide to buy into it with the plan of selling it latter for you yourself to be able to sell it.

Re:Talking Points of bitcoins (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999255)

..so, a pyramid system then?

Re:Talking Points of bitcoins (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999409)

..so, a pyramid system then?

No. Nobody promises you that the bitcoins will increase in value or that they will magically multiply, or even buy them back from you, ever.

Re:Talking Points of bitcoins (1)

brokenin2 (103006) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999429)

Bitcoin is still relatively unstable, but it's a lot more stable than it used to be.. Time and growth will make it more stable. Of course time and recession would make it less stable but at this point, it seems pretty unlikely that it'll go that way. So far, overall, Bitcoin has seen a lot of growth (exponential growth actually.. look at a graph using a log scale.)

Re:Talking Points of bitcoins (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999481)

When your VICE, American Excess and MasterRace cards wont pass on a payment...
It's every freedom fighter you want to be.

I don't mean to be picky but... (1)

rjr162 (69736) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999207)

Isn't this more of a "deposit box" machine seeing as an ATM (automated teller machine) allows withdrawal of money, checking account balances, transferring funds from one account to another etc? (And technically shouldn't the machines that only dispense be MAC (money access center) machines?

Re:I don't mean to be picky but... (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999225)

ATM is correct in this context, as it also stands for "Automatically Takes Money".

It's one of few anonymous ways to obtain bitcoins (5, Interesting)

stoploss (2842505) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999229)

It is actually quite hard to obtain bitcoins anonymously.

The days of CPU-based mining are long over, and even the current "economy" of multi-GPU-based mining rigs is about to be eclipsed by the ASIC-based devices coming online this year.

There are effectively no services that will take anonymous payment for bitcoins. Paying via bank account ACH or check is certainly not anonymous, and the same goes for credit/debit card payment. Furthermore, any credit/debit based payment is potentially reversible via chargebacks, etc, so most places don't take that kind of payment due to the fact that bitcoin transfers are irreversible.

Services like Bitinstant claim to take cash for bitcoins, but what that really means is that they require payment via MoneyGram, which requires you to present government-issued ID when sending payment. This is linked to the Bitinstant anti-money laundering policy [bitinstant.com] , which requires your real name, etc. Dwolla wants a name, SSN, government ID, etc, to setup an account. As for Mt. Gox? Heh, they require everything but a DNA sample in order to use the exchange. Any service registered as a "money services business" in FinCEN will have these kinds of restrictions.

Obtaining bitcoins locally requires finding someone offering them for sale, negotiating price each time, and likely a face-to-face meeting to hand over cash. If one is really patient and trusting, a deal might be able to be struck for sending cash in an envelope. However, the bitcoin market is extremely volatile, which tends to undermine these types of deals.

Anyway, this ATM seems very convenient and anonymous; ergo, it likely will fall afoul of the anti-money laundering laws in one way or another.

Re:It's one of few anonymous ways to obtain bitcoi (1)

theskipper (461997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999419)

Seems like payday loan and those "cash quick" places would be logical businesses to start offering bitcoin sales, assuming they could get enough inventory. Since not all users of the currency will care about anonymity, simply buying them for speculation or online use would be worth a 5-10% transaction fee. There's been a lot of press lately in magazines like Forbes which will catch the attention of Joe Public (and further fueling the BTC-USD bubble).

Freestaters are ruining NH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999235)

Little fascist twerps are hell bent on tearing apart the social contract. To hell with them, and OP.

Re:Freestaters are ruining NH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999417)

What social contract? I never signed any social contract.

Newsflash. Without a signature, there is no contract. So, why don't you take your hyperbolic left wing bullshit and shove it where the Sun doesn't shine.

What gives fiat money value? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999545)

Fiat currency, contrary to what they say, has value for a very particular reason: the government gives it value. It does this by demanding payment of taxes in the fiat currency. The failure to pay your taxes results in losing your very real assets, like your business, your home and in the worst case, your freedom. It also mandates that the currency is "legal tender" meaning it can't be refused as discharge of debts.

Every other thing it can buy is in relation to how much you want to keep the things the government can take from you. (Or private parties can take from you because you have collateralized debts.) It is this coercion that gives it power to pay for everything else.

The freestaters know this. If they can get you and the government to the point where the government has to accept something other than the government's own money to pay taxes, they know it will then take just a little nudge to push the whole thing over. And they figure that somehow they will come out on top when that happens. Ever the optimists, these guys.

ATM only? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999243)

If this works as an ATM only, it will have limited usefulness. OTOH if it can work as a POS system it definitely has possibilities. At least until the Feds find out and crush it like they did with the Liberty dollar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberty_dollar).

Re:ATM only? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999315)

Oh, Point of Sale. Read that as Piece of Shit at first.

Re:ATM only? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999547)

It DOES work as a POS terminal. That's what it is. You buy a commodity (bitcoins) with money (dollars).

Obummer better watch out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999279)

Now that money can be transferred anonymously among members of the Republican party, it's only a matter of time before he is defeated.

Baquack Obamailure, you will NOT win the next election! Thank God for Bitcoin!

You will never take away our guns and our freedom of speech! We will fight any attempt to have our rights taken away, and if that fails, we will inject ourselves with an experimental serum and turn ourselves into zombies, so we can continue to fight, even in death. We will end the tyranny of the majority of the minority through all means possible!

Thank God for Bitcoin.

Re:Obummer better watch out! (1)

Nimey (114278) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999313)

IGTT 2/10.

want can go wrong?? (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999353)

It seems like there is a lot that can make this fail.

Can it refund your cash if there is any fault?

Can it run out of bit coins to pay out? and you end up losing cash?

How fast can it update the exchange rate?

What happens with a network lost midway though an transfer?

Can it store and transfer at a later time?

What about an power loss?

Hacking? and will be even be crime to hack it? and what will happen in a court if some one sues or they try to change some with breaking a law dealing with any to do with this?

Anxiously Awaiting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999399)

The first IRS. Bitcoin takedown. Should make for some interesting, er, bits....

Just what I always wanted! (1)

femtobyte (710429) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999421)

Brilliant! An ATM that I put cash *into* to get magic numbers out --- for all those times when I've been standing in a market thinking "gee, it would be handy to have a bit less spending cash in my wallet right now."

Kritterbox.com forum allows anonymous users to pos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999425)

http://www.kritterbox.com/ [kritterbox.com]

Remain anon and post as much as you like. Second best to Tor hidden services forums.

What's with all the hostility? (5, Insightful)

mathimus1863 (1120437) | about a year and a half ago | (#42999499)

Yes, there's a lot of people who are in Bitcoin because of become-a-billionaire-overnight fantasies. But you remove all that and you're left with a really fascinating system that should appeal to everyone on Slashdot. It's a mix of cryptography, freedom of speech, computing, networking, finance, economics, and even politics -- most of us here dig that stuff.

Get over the hype and take Bitcoin for what it really is: a fascinating experiment that has, so far, withstood the amazing barrage of publicity, hacking attempts, legal uncertainties, and remains valuable for reasons completely contrary to everyone that says it's worthless. It may become worthless one day, but consider the possibility that Bitcoin is disproving all your wildly oversimplified assumptions about what makes something valuable. It is completely different, and there's plenty of reasons to believe that it could succeed as much as it could fail.

Why does gold have value? Nothing is backing gold. Yet it has value, mainly because of its properties: scarcity, fungibility, density, beauty, etc. Bitcoin is really quite similar but with some different properties. Ease of transfer over the internet, fungibility, scarcity, storage efficiency, near-anonymity and built-in escrow.

I don't think it's any more ludicrous for Bitcoin to have value than it is for gold to have value. And in the end, when I want to sell WoW weapons, buy webserver space, or play a few games of poker online, why would I use gold, credit card or paypal, which all require me to remember log-in creditials, give away information and/or pay a bunch of third party fees. There's plenty of value in being able to pay people across the world, instantaneously, without sacrificing your privacy, and without paying any fees. Why is that not valuable? Seriously... quit focusing on the get-rich-quick kids, and start appreciating Bitcoin for it's unique properties and philosophy.

when private currency is prefered to federal. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42999569)

A sea change will occur.

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