[Originally Posted 4th June 2014]
The 3rd of June 2014 witnessed the launch of the first Bitcoin ATM in the city of Bristol in the UK and the first Bitcoin ATM to be installed outside of London.
The event took place at healthy fast food outlet ‘Superfoods’ the new residence of the Bitcoin ATM, located in St Stephens street in the heart of Bristol city centre. Superfoods themselves are looking to adopt Bitcoin as a payment method in the near future.
Update 26/05/2014: Due to the closure of the Bristol Superfoods branch, the Bitcoin ATM is now located at the premises below.
The ATM has been installed by ‘Satoshi Point LTD’ founded by Hassan Khoshtaghaza and Jonathan Harrison who are hoping to role out more ATM’s across the UK going forward
A large and enthusiastic crowd came out to support the launch of the new Bitcoin ATM over drinks, food and good music. The event was great fun and provided ample opportunity to network and share knowledge with fellow Bitcoiners and others interested in the growing digital currency.
Satsoshi Point LTD with their new ATM.
Full house @ Superfoods Bristol
Whilst many familiar faces especially from the Bitcoin community in South West England where present. One of the most encouraging signs from the whole evening was the large amount of people that turned up who were new to the Bitcoin scene.
This included budding entrepreneurs from local universities and other people from all walks of life looking to find out more about the growing Bitcoin economy. It highlighted that more and more people are keen to learn about Bitcoin, which is a healthy sign for future growth.
The ATM itself running on the Robocoin platform, is a two way (Buy/Sell) ATM that charges 5% over the Bitstamp exchange spot price for buying and selling bitcoin.
The User Interface is very easy to use and facilitates transactions in two ways, direct through a smart phone Bitcoin wallet app (Easier method) by scanning your Bitcon wallet QR code and it also allows you to generate a new bitcoin address with public and private key, so you can transfer funds later to your own dedicated Bitcoin addresses.
Being an iPhone user I opted for the latter, but hopefully recent news of Apple’s loosening on Bitcoin App policy will allow iPhone users to use Bitcoin wallet apps going forward.
One of my friends who purchased Bitcoin from the ATM using her Android Blockchain wallet was promptly credited with the funds after a couple of minutes, the transaction was swift and hassle free which compensates partly for the premium of using the machine.
It will be interesting to see the usage statistics of the new Bitcoin ATM’s going forward and whether they provide viable competition to the purchasing of bitcoin through online exchanges and local bitcoin trade services.
Satoshi Point highlighted that there other Bitcoin ATM’s located in London had seen high usage since launch, so it will be interesting to see if this is mirrored outside of London.
The future remains to be seen, but one of the major benefits from the installation of Bitcoin ATM’s in the UK and around the world, is that it helps facilitate the perception that Bitcoin is going mainstream, as it provides services that are familiar with the average retail user.
Many of the new faces I spoke to said that following the event they were looking to get more involved in the Bitcoin space and were looking to potentially invest in bitcoin going forward.