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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 
April 15 - Australia’s first bitcoin automatic teller opens for business in Sydney

Article: Technology For A Global Monetary System
 

Australia's first bitcoin automatic teller machine has gone live in central Sydney, allowing passersby to buy and sell the digital currency and exchange it for cash. The orange machine, which resembles a regular banking ATM, was unveiled on Tuesday morning inside a Westfield mall on Pitt Street.
 
The machine, the first of several to be rolled out across the country, will make it easier for regular people to deal in bitcoin, said the co-owner and the chief executive of ABA Technologies, Chris Guzowski.
 
Since the digital currency's mysterious creation in 2008, buying and selling has been handled largely by online exchanges, which Guzowski said was too complicated for everyday users.
 
“Here we have it in a Westfield shopping centre where it's available immediately and securely for everyone,” he said. “We want to allow every Australian to easily buy and sell bitcoin.”
 
The machine scans their government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's licence, and uses facial recognition technology to verify that their face matches the photo.  Users also scan their palm on the machine, which is used along with a PIN and their phone number to verify their identity in future transactions.
 
Once an account is set up users can buy or sell bitcoins at the market price. They can add bitcoins to their virtual wallet by feeding in cash or cards and can sell bitcoins to extract cash. One bitcoin is currently worth about $494.
 
The addition of biometric steps such as face and palm scanning also risked turning people off by stripping away much-coveted anonymity and making the machines “harder to use than normal ATMs”.  “At present, there is not a compelling reason to be involved in cryptocurrencies other than investment reasons and for those people with the appetite for risk, they are likely to be buying their currency online.”
 
Nevertheless, Guzowski said bitcoin had massive potential, particularly for online shopping and cheap, quick cross-border money transfers.

 

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