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Author Topic: Bitcoin vending — Making it easie to convert cash to coins  (Read 1313 times)
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May 16, 2011, 07:36:25 AM

Has anyone considered assembling a hardened vending machine (perhaps a retrofitted change machine) into a device that converts USD to bitcoin?

You'd put them in publicly accessible places. Person walks up and scans a QR code of a wallet ID off a phone or from a printout (speech recognition is out due to mixed case, most likely),  then stuff money into it.  It prints a receipt (including a QR code of the TX itself, to guard against network problems) and sends money to you on the network.

Bill validators don't appear to be very expensive.  While I don't think this would be a profitable business on its own any time soon (and would only be interesting in a few major cities right now) it might be something worth operating for the sake of increasing the viability of bitcoin.

Going the other direction (BTC->$) has some extra complications— requiring a retrofit of an more costly atm and having instant gratification problems since waiting around the machine for a block confirmation would suck (and not waiting would almost certainly be exploited).

BTC->$ doesn't solve the more urgent issue of "I want to use this BTC thing but can't get any money in it before I lose interest, because mining now has high upfront costs", but $-> BTC sure does.

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May 16, 2011, 08:30:53 PM

If nothing else this would be a huge publicity stunt for BitCoin.

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May 17, 2011, 04:21:11 AM

There's already a project to create a BTC ATM underway:
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May 17, 2011, 04:42:39 AM

I think this is a great idea. Heck, they have gold vending machines, why not a bitcoin one. It would be great for public awareness.

It would be even better if the device was two way (USD <-> BTC), and was wired up to MtGox to give up to the minute prices (plus a small fee, of course  Cheesy)

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