Today Tue Wed
It is forcast to be Mostly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 21, 2014
Mostly Cloudy
20°/11°
It is forcast to be Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 22, 2014
Rain
15°/2°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 23, 2014
Partly Cloudy
11°/2°

18 Comments

culture

Toronto Welcomes a Bitcoin ATM

King and Spadina is now home to a machine that trades in this cryptocurrency.

Photo by Flickr user btckeychain.

Bitcoin is relatively new, mystifying to many, and now available at an ATM machine near you. For those of us who remain stubbornly among the mystified, Techopedia defines it as “a digital cryptocurrency made up of processed data blocks used for online and brick-and-mortar purchases”—and it’s not regulated by any government. The very word “cryptocurrency” somehow suggests skullduggery and spycraft—and Bitcoin’s virtual untraceability has brought it to the attention of both criminals and law enforcement.

But it’s also won support from digitally savvy consumers who value privacy and freedom from fees—and now, thanks to a place called Bitcoin Decentral, savvy Torontonians (and the just plain curious) will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with this cryptocurrency.

Located at King and Spadina, Bitcoin Decentral will function as a workplace and as a venue for discussions of “all things crypto”: and it also has its very own Bitcoin ATM. Users put cash in the machine and receive a quote indicating the equivalent number of Bitcoins. And soon, they’ll be able to use the ATM to exchange their Bitcoins for cash.

Anthony Di Iorio, executive director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, is confident Torontonians will adopt Bitcoins—a Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver has already proved popular—and hopes to convince more local business to accept it.

“It will be the way payments are done in the future,” he tells the Star. So if you want to get busy understanding what could be the economy of tomorrow, head downtown for a crypto-education and some “imaginary” money.

Comments

  • geoffobvs

    stoked for being able to cash out my bitcoins in cash weeeooo.

  • CaligulaJones

    Can’t wait for the first bitcoin tax…

    • Testu

      Bitcoins are already taxed, as investment income, I believe. Which is hilarious given the market volatility. Their “value” is slightly less stable than penny stocks.

      I can’t wait to see if these guys have just completely ignored all the AML stuff they’re required to do to operate this “ATM”.

      • CaligulaJones
        • Testu

          I didn’t realize barter rules applied too, it makes sense I suppose. I doubt they apply very often given that there seems to be very little you can actually (legally) buy with Bitcoins that isn’t massively marked up over the cash price.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            Bitcoin value fluctuates so wildly I’m not surprised to hear that. By the time you convert received bitcoins to cash, the value could be half what it was.

  • vampchick21

    I’m offically old. I have no idea why this is a thing. Crazy kids.

    • PlantinMoretus

      The Alex Jones crowd seems to love Bitcoin for some reason.

      • vampchick21

        Isn’t he the grand conspiracy theorist?

        • PlantinMoretus

          He’s one of them. Also kind of a survivalist – lots of ads for water purifiers and food dehydrators and bunker pattern books etc. I haven’t paid close attention but this crowd seems to think Bitcoin is somehow a safer alternative to government fiat currency and yadda. They were all into hoarding gold a few years ago too.

          • Testu

            There’s a certain amount of overlap between the groups re: magical thinking and lack of critical thought.

          • vampchick21

            Hording gold when they could have gotten top dollar from the Cash Man????????

          • CaligulaJones

            After the winter we’ve had, I don’t think we should be mocking survivalists TOO much. Just because they’re nuts, doesn’t mean they are wrong about everything.

            I think I’ll check into what my greedy friends on Bay Street are saying…

          • PlantinMoretus

            I don’t think I was mocking them, but anyway, they’re definitely right about being prepared for SHTF. Some of the stories coming out of the ice storm were ridiculous. Who doesn’t have a flashlight, ffs?

          • CaligulaJones

            Mocking was probably the wrong word, sorry about that. I think the juxtaposition of good common sense and loony-tunes like Alex Jones was a bit jarring for me. As they say, even a broken clock is right twice a day, so occasionally, the paranoiacs can be right sometimes, too.

            But seriously, having a few things on hand to ease over a temporary disruption in our modern lifestyle shouldn’t be considered being a “survivalist”. Although, I should probably water the plants with that water I’ve kept since before Y2K…

  • Testu

    Pretty much every Bitcoin to cash service ever made has run into this. It’s why there’s basically none operating in the US and the only Canadian one that follows the rules has massive restrictions on withdrawals and very particular ID requirements.

    Most just seem to ignore the rules until they get shut down by whatever local government has jurisdiction.

  • stinkycat123@mailinator.com

    Bitcoin atm, why not? But still not as popular as bitcoin slots! plenty of them on the web, incredible… ( gamblingwithbitcoins com )

  • Testu

    Except it isn’t, because this converts between a currency and a semi-commodity/not-a-currency in a manner which can be virtually untraceable (e.g. cash to bitcoin). It is not tied to a bank account in any way if cash is used.

    This is mitigated by the fact that this “ATM” is apparently deposit only, as in, it can only be used to buy bitcoins with dollars. It does not allow you to purchase dollars with bitcoins and there are almost no functional ways to do that in Canada short of person to person exchanges. So it’s not actually useful for money laundering.

    Nevertheless, it seems like AML legislation would still apply to the business running the “currency exchange” service.