“Will you be paying by cash, credit or Bitcoin?”
What is believed to be Queensland’s first Bitcoin ATM is up and running at a South Brisbane cafe, allowing customers to withdraw and sell the digital currency.
The Roastery Cafe will also accept Bitcoin receipts from the machine for payment, with a $3.50 coffee costing it’s cryptocurrency equivalent – about 0.007311Bitcoins.
“There’s a lot of people who have been waiting for this. There’s Bitcoiniacs who have meetings everywhere every week, and these groups are growing rapidly,” Roastery Cafe co-owner Bruce Carrall said.
“I saw photos online of guys lining up out the door to use the machine so we looked into it. The turnover of these machines was incredible and they were spreading rapidly. They’re in the US, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong and Canada.”
The machine also deals in the lesser-known digital currencies Litecoin and Dogecoin.
The process of using the ATM is slightly different from a regular cash-dispensing machine.
Users can top up their Bitcoin account by depositing cash, and following a straight-forward process where the ATM scans a QR code generated from a smartphone app. For those without a Bitcoin account, the ATM can produce a paper wallet receipt which is accepted at the shop counter as payment.
Bitcoin users can also withdraw cash from the machine by selling their Bitcoins at market price to the company that owns the machine, Bit2Bit.
Mr Carrall, who also has a stake in Bit2Bit, said the $15,000 machine was imported from the United States.
While he conceded there is “a large amount of uncertainty” with Bitcoin, his company is banking on its popularity growing, and hope to import more Bitcoin ATMs and sell them to other Brisbane businesses.
According to Bitcoin market tracker blockchain.info, there are about 74,000 Bitcoin transactions each day around the world. Trading was at its most ferocious in December, when the number rose to more than 100,000.
The value of Bitcoins were initially no more than a few dollars, however the cryptocurrency value rose to more than $1000 each last year. They currently trade for about $478.