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notig
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February 02, 2013, 04:43:50 AM
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Wouldn't it be cool to have automated bitcoin machines around?

The problem I see with localbitcoins... at least for me... is that profits are so small. For instance.. say I sell for $21 when the price is 20.  That's only a dollar profit per bitcoin. Except it's less than that because you always lose some when buying due to the difference in the bid/ask price and all that.  Anyways... if someone wants to buy say 3 bitcoins... you would get 3 dollars. Which is actually really good except that it requires further work from you.  A vending machine would be perfect.

I suppose you could make it only print out bitcoins when money was input. that way if someone actually broke into the machine they would find blank paper. Unless there is already money in it from previous purchases.
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February 02, 2013, 05:19:07 AM
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Wouldn't it be cool to have automated bitcoin machines around?

The problem I see with localbitcoins... at least for me... is that profits are so small. For instance.. say I sell for $21 when the price is 20.  That's only a dollar profit per bitcoin. Except it's less than that because you always lose some when buying due to the difference in the bid/ask price and all that.  Anyways... if someone wants to buy say 3 bitcoins... you would get 3 dollars. Which is actually really good except that it requires further work from you.  A vending machine would be perfect.

I suppose you could make it only print out bitcoins when money was input. that way if someone actually broke into the machine they would find blank paper. Unless there is already money in it from previous purchases.


I believe hand-held devices will replace even the current ATMs.
notig
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February 02, 2013, 05:22:43 AM
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by handheld you mean smart phones? You wouldn't be able to directly use cash with that method  (if that is what you meant)
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February 02, 2013, 05:33:37 AM
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You forget the cost of the ATM, operating cost, site lease, armored car pickups, maintenance, vandalism, theft, counterfeits, etc.

I don't see ATM as a viable business model unless an area has a very high concentration of bitcoin users.
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February 02, 2013, 08:43:29 AM
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The problem I see with localbitcoins... at least for me... is that profits are so small. For instance.. say I sell for $21 when the price is 20.  That's only a dollar profit per bitcoin.

I've been exchanging bitcoins locally for a 6% spread: selling for 3% over Mt.Gox and buying for 3% under.  You're right, there's not much money to be made when the value of gas and time and the exchange rate volatility risk is factored in, but I'm excited to be a part of monetary revolution, and I get to meet a lot of interesting people.  Besides, I'm building trust at this point, and once the volume gets high enough, the profits will be there.  You can also look at it like you would running an I2P router: you aren't making any money off the other people using your bandwidth, but you are improving your own anonymity in the process.
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February 02, 2013, 12:23:17 PM
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The problem I see with localbitcoins... at least for me... is that profits are so small. For instance.. say I sell for $21 when the price is 20.  That's only a dollar profit per bitcoin.

I've been exchanging bitcoins locally for a 6% spread: selling for 3% over Mt.Gox and buying for 3% under.  You're right, there's not much money to be made when the value of gas and time and the exchange rate volatility risk is factored in, but I'm excited to be a part of monetary revolution, and I get to meet a lot of interesting people.  Besides, I'm building trust at this point, and once the volume gets high enough, the profits will be there.  You can also look at it like you would running an I2P router: you aren't making any money off the other people using your bandwidth, but you are improving your own anonymity in the process.

The person to person trade is super important. My 5 last trades had 2 with total newbies that both had no wallet ready at the time we met. #1 was interested and wanted my advise on which wallet to use. #2 had no clue about the concept of wallets at all. He even suggested he gives me the 100€ now and I send him the money later when he figured it out. Hope he hasn't lost the MyWallet that we set him up on his iPhone.
Basically if you have a high density of regular bitcoin users, an ATM makes sense but currently the person to person trade still is very much about education and exchange of ideas.

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February 02, 2013, 03:56:46 PM
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ATM's are good in concept but not in implimentation unless you have the right scenario, maintenance costs as said by other posters would eat into profits if the scenario aint right. although if placed inside a retail store instead of outdoors, the vandalism would be negligible as it would be monitored by staff all day and locked away after shop closes at night and having to only refill the ATM once a week instead of travelling by car to different locations to meet random people for penny deals would also decrease costs.

basically best scenario is anyone living in a town with high bitcoin userbase, and they worked in a car fuel station, an amusement arcade or a retail store. They could easily get a ATM put into the corner of the store and advertise the hell out of it. the boss would enjoy the extra business it would bring with people fueling up/buying stuff with him instead of his competitors .

another option for local meetups
if you have a high concentration of users. it is much better to just arrange a mass meet up at certain times.

EG u meet up with people wanting to sell their coins to you for ur gox-3% before mid-day. so u can gather a hoard of coins without much fuel costs
and then after 2pm have a mass meetup of people wanting to buy at your gox+3 prices.

that way the buyers and sellers never meet each other to compete against you, due to the 2 hours gap and u get your 6% profit same day. just a little riskier having a group of people surrounding you knowing u have a stash of cash on you.
so staggering it so one guy meets you every 30 minutes at a central location would be best.

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February 02, 2013, 04:34:00 PM
 #8

I doubt that once enough people trade bitcoins, you will still be able to charge 3+3 %.
I wanted to sell but had time, so I copied the others that sold at +5% and waited. Nobody showed up. Then it got urgent and I completely removed the fee, I actually paid 5% for one trade but now people cue up for small trades and I send them on when it exceeds my needs. Charging 0% has the advantage that people come close to you and won't argue if you round up on the trade. Long term this is the margin for every-day trades. If you need more liquidity, you will still pay a fee.

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February 02, 2013, 10:38:39 PM
 #9

I doubt that once enough people trade bitcoins, you will still be able to charge 3+3 %.

I would really welcome the day when there are multiple places for me to buy and sell bitcoins anonymously, securely and cheaply in exchange for cash.  We will have won the revolution at that point!
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February 17, 2013, 04:47:33 AM
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AHA
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February 17, 2013, 01:52:55 PM
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AHA

This looks pretty damn serious. Where is it? How many are they? How secure is the money inside?

Edit: Does the screen on top show a video of how it works? Does it mention compatible clients (to get people going that have no clue)?

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February 17, 2013, 02:44:54 PM
 #12

Other question: Will this machine release $$ if I send it bitcoins? I guess we need something more general than green addresses for instant acceptance of bitcoins.

How about the following:
The machine network has a website where I can anonymously ask for a receiving address. (aka open a hosted wallet)
I may then charge this address with bitcoins (6 confirmations apply).
I may request to see all machines where I can cash out $x (limits apply based on my settings (maybe my kids should get their pocket money at these machines), the machines' settings (inside a bank the limit and therefore the expected minimum balance might be higher than at the corner) and the machines' $$ balances)
Via NFC my phone tells the machine some id
The machine asks to sign something with a certain key
My phone does so
Eventually asking me to unlock the key store with a password for that
The machine spits out $$

Advantage of the challenge response thing is that I don't have to type in credentials at that machine.
Disadvantage is that I need exactly the wallet at hands that was used to charge my BATM wallet.

notig
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February 17, 2013, 04:58:51 PM
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I know nothing about it actually. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me though.... I mean why does it need a camera? Can't bitcoins just be sent to an address created on the fly then you scan some QR code it generates? it seems like a camera would increase the cost of the ATM. but I am probably wrong
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February 17, 2013, 05:16:05 PM
 #14

I know nothing about it actually. It doesn't seem like a good idea to me though.... I mean why does it need a camera? Can't bitcoins just be sent to an address created on the fly then you scan some QR code it generates? it seems like a camera would increase the cost of the ATM. but I am probably wrong

The camera is the QR-Code scanner I guess. A camera costs 5€ or 15€ if you want to have a smoother user experience. The case should be about 100 times more expensive if you don't want to take losses from people even attempting to get out the bills.

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February 17, 2013, 05:49:47 PM
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well it would be cool if you could have one that went both ways... outputting dollars or bitcoins.

I went in this store yesterday that was just "we buy gold" . I asked him if he sold bitcoins and he said no we don't sell anything. Since he didn't ask what bitcoins were I just left instead of telling him more. it would be cool to see some franchise or store chain use bitcoin atm's though. that way they wouldn't have to dedicate manpower to them. People put different kinds of kiosks in grocery stores all the time... for instance redbox. Or coin counting machines. This would be similar. I'm not sure if the profit margin is there though
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February 17, 2013, 06:52:25 PM
 #16

Such a machine could even charge fees depending on its $$ stock.

Imagine the shop where it stands would only have to report issues and keep it plugged in. Supply with bills if running low and removal if running full could be done by its customers.

On a machine that is low on $1 and $20, high on $10 and $100 and ok on $5 and $50 bills. The fees could read:
3% for buying and selling bitcoins
Balancing my bill reserves
0% for buying with up to 20 $1 bills
0% for buying with up to 7 $20 bills
-1% for selling worth up to 7 $10 bills
-1% for selling worth up to 25 $100 bills

People could subscribe to take these special offers, basically doing the maintenance loosely organized for a small fee.

Down side would be that the machine would tell when it had a lot of money inside but the machine could also pretend to never hold more than $5000 in the supermarket or $500 outside at the corner. On the other side, if I can throw in $10000, take the bitcoins and take back the $$, too, this obscuring its balance would not help much.

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February 17, 2013, 11:48:04 PM
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http://vimeo.com/59849067
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February 18, 2013, 12:19:05 AM
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Oh ok, so it's still at the proof of concept stage. Anyway, hope to see it deployed everywhere Wink

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February 18, 2013, 12:21:38 AM
 #19

Wouldn't it be cool to have automated bitcoin machines around?

The problem I see with localbitcoins... at least for me... is that profits are so small. For instance.. say I sell for $21 when the price is 20.  That's only a dollar profit per bitcoin. Except it's less than that because you always lose some when buying due to the difference in the bid/ask price and all that.  Anyways... if someone wants to buy say 3 bitcoins... you would get 3 dollars. Which is actually really good except that it requires further work from you.  A vending machine would be perfect.

I suppose you could make it only print out bitcoins when money was input. that way if someone actually broke into the machine they would find blank paper. Unless there is already money in it from previous purchases.


im actually working on something along these lines right now. I bought a used phone card vending machine.

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February 18, 2013, 09:27:44 AM
 #20

Wouldn't it be cool to have automated bitcoin machines around?

The problem I see with localbitcoins... at least for me... is that profits are so small. For instance.. say I sell for $21 when the price is 20.  That's only a dollar profit per bitcoin. Except it's less than that because you always lose some when buying due to the difference in the bid/ask price and all that.  Anyways... if someone wants to buy say 3 bitcoins... you would get 3 dollars. Which is actually really good except that it requires further work from you.  A vending machine would be perfect.

I suppose you could make it only print out bitcoins when money was input. that way if someone actually broke into the machine they would find blank paper. Unless there is already money in it from previous purchases.


I have been working on this idea for the last 6 months. The concept is simple, but the challenges it brings along are not trivial. I know quite a number of people trying to skin this cat also, and this ain't an easy cat to skin. 

The good news is that when this idea matures and the associated problems get solved, the Bitcoin ATM will become the new ASIC! Many will rush to catch the new train - producing and selling (leasing) Bitcoin ATMs.
 
And like with the ASICs, people will produce number of different versions of the Bitcoin ATM machines. Some will target the low-volume, low-cost markets (similar to Avalon today) as well as high-end units targeting tens-if-not-hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars-a-day markets (similar to BFL's mini-rig today), and then there will be scammers like BASIC and likes to keep the boys separate from men.

The more important thing though is that anyone who wants to get involved with Bitcoin but lacks the technical or commercial skills will be able to buy a standard, stand-alone, interoperable Bitcoin ATM machine and start earning BTCs without mining or speculating, but by providing simple local-cash-exchange service instead.

The future in Bitcoin World is going to be great!

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