Jeff Berwick, a well known Anarcho-Capitalist who’s blog I often read, has announced today that he’ll be opening the first public ATM in Cyprus soon.
Even better, he has started offering these ATM’s as a franchise called BitcoinATM!
These ATMs will allow 2-way transactions; you can send cash money up to your wallet at one, or you can change bitcoins down into the local currency too! If you’re reading this blog, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what these things getting out in the wild would do for bitcoin… It would make bitcoin nothing short of truly USABLE.
FreeStaters (of the New Hampshire variety) were actually the first to create a working bitcoin ATM which simply took USD and sent bitcoin to an address in return; but they don’t seem to have gotten any further along with the project that the proof-of-concept model. Jeff’s ATM, which admittedly we see no evidence of it getting even that far yet, has great backing and lots of money behind it. Jeff is well known for his libertarian-slanted investment success.
Time will tell how long any government would allow this threat to their sovereignty on their soil. However, even if these things gain just a little traction it could easily double or even triple the number of bitcoin users in no time… Especially if they are placed in all of the most troubled economies like Cyprus, Argentina, Japan, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal.
This is of course a double-edged sword, because each of these troubled states will become more and more tyrannical against bitcoin as their own money fails; so anyone who wants to invest in a bitcoin ATM: I’d advise you to pick countries that have just started to fail monetarily; not the ones in their later, violent stages like Greece.
The USA certainly comes to mind for this purpose. ATMs should do very well there, and how fitting they should be launched in 2013, on the Centennial of the creation of the Federal Reserve! We’re certain to see the next wave of inflation to the USD soon, and the time will be prime for these ATMs to pop up in all the major cities of the USA. (Texas and New Hampshire first, I’d bet.)
Depending on your fee structure of course, everyone reading this blog could make a killing by placing one of these in a libertarian-minded area of the USA… And feel great about promoting fair currency at the same time.
Update: Some fool at BusinessInsider thought he’d call Berwick’s news fake… So Berwick Responded: Jeff’s Response to Business Insider
More good news: Jeff included more pictures of it!