Bitcoin ATMs are like Brighton buses, it seems – you wait ages for one, and then two turn up at the same time.
The last couple of days has seen a flurry of activity, as suppliers SatoshiPoint and Futurecoins raced to install Brighton’s first ATM. It’s a photo finish in the end, so I’d call the winner as … Brighton. With the arrival of the two machines, the city has been firmly put on the Bitcoin map.
I visited the Futurecoins’ machine at the Marwood Cafe on Ship Street first. Tucked away behind the old post office, the Marwood will also be taking Bitcoins for food and drinks soon – mmmm, coffee. When I got there, Alfie from Futurecoins was checking things over, Argus reporters were hanging around, and the ATM had just had its first customer:
— Futurecoins (@futurecoins) August 21, 2014
Eager to try it out, I popped a QR code up on my phone and took 20 quid out of my pocket. 20 seconds later, I had Bitcoins on the way to me. I mean, this thing is quick – it took me longer to unlock my phone and get the QR code up, then it did to buy the coins themselves. Nice.
It was over to Flawless Clothing across town in the North Laine after that, for their launch party. Flawless have been accepting Bitcoins for a while now, as well as being proponents of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general: they’ve also taken Dogecoin, and are one of the first merchants to announce Sterlingcoin support in September.
It was great to catch up with some of the local Bitcoiners over some beers, and the machine worked just as quickly again. If you don’t know, getting Bitcoins is as fast as:
1. Install app on your phone2. Press “Start on the ATM3. Show a QR code on your phone to the machine’s screen4. Put banknotes in5. Hit “Go” on the ATM
That’s it. As this post says, it’s actually smooth to the point of being boring.
But what’s really cool about the ATMs is it makes it really easy for people to see how to do it – and then to get hold of some, and just start playing with wallets, etc. No registration documents, no passwords, no dodgy exchanges. Install, pay, receive. Done.
Expect more coverage in the Argus’ Business section on Tuesday. Otherwise, get out there and get some coins…