A tech start-up has premiered the world’s first Bitcoin ATM, allowing users with an existing Bitcoin wallet number to exchange their paper money for the digital cryptocurrency.
Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures demonstrated their ATM at last week’s Bitcoin conference in London. The machine accepts bills from over 200 countries, although transactions are, for the time being, one way; the ATM does not yet dispense cash in exchange for Bitcoins, the Daily Beast reports.
The machine also does not accept cards, which Lamassu co-founder Zach Harvey says eliminates the need to deal with banks, according to TechCrunch.
Up until now, Bitcoins were only available by transferring funds from a bank account or through the tedious “mining” process by which new Bitcoins are minted, so to speak. The company told PC World that by allowing people to bypass their existing bank accounts, the ATM protects its users’ privacy.
The ATMs being shipping worldwide in August and start at $4000.