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Bitcoin

Bitcoin, released to the world in 2009 by a person or people called Satoshi Nakamoto, is not backed by a central bank or a government and is seen as an alternative payment system. In February 2013, Bitcoin went into the mainstream as a monetary crisis threatened to bankrupt Cyprus, seen as a safer bet. Early adopters of Bitcoin have been richly rewarded as the price has soared – in one case, a young Norwegian bought a house from an $850,000 windfall on a US$22 investment.

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Hong Kong to get world's second bitcoin ATM, say makers

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 January, 2014, 5:20am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 January, 2014, 3:07pm

The bitcoin revolution is shifting to the east, say the Americans behind the world's first cash machine for the virtual currency, as they prepare to open a second one - in Hong Kong.

Robocoin's second teller machine could be ready for business by the end of this month, in time to take advantage of strong interest in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year.

Hong Kong beat off stiff competition from New York and Singapore, said Robocoin chief executive Jordan Kelley. There was so much enthusiasm for bitcoin in Asia that establishing a presence in the region was vital, he said.

"I think Hong Kong is a very progressive environment," Kelley said. "The government takes a progressive approach to emerging technologies, and it is important to get something going in the Asian economies."

The project will involve a partnership with "savvy entrepreneurs and smart businessmen who are very well connected and very well established," he said.

Citing confidentiality of the talks, the Robocoin chief said his company was looking at "several" different locations in Hong Kong to install the machine.

First-time buyers of bitcoin will find it considerably easier to speculate and invest using an ATM. A lengthy registration process is required for online bitcoin exchanges, forcing customers to wait days to buy coins for the first time. Using a bitcoin ATM, registration can take just five minutes.

"It removes a whole barrier of entry for the masses," said Kelley. "Our goal is to make buying and selling bitcoin friendly."

After the frenzied opening of the world's first bitcoin cash machine in a Vancouver coffee shop in October, more than C$1 million (HK$7.29 million) worth of transactions were conducted in less than a month.

Robocoin chose Hong Kong to launch the second ATM because of its strong links to Vancouver, Kelley said.

Bitcoin emerged in 2009 as a low-cost way of sending money electronically without third parties. It is not regulated by a central bank. There are currently more than 11 million bitcoins in circulation, which can be bought and sold via online exchanges or "mined" using computers.

Watch: What's Bitcoin and how does it work?

An earlier version of this article stated that Robocoin was run by Canadians. They are in fact an American company. We apologise for the error.

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This article is now closed to comments

sammckhk
The reason it's coming to HK is because they know the locals here are greedy and dopey when it comes to these sorts of scams. And after it all goes wrong the 'losers' will come running to the govt saying " you didn't protect me, I want you to subsidise the losses caused by my own stupidity"
sonkit
@daily
This is a society where banks and government print money (or increase money supply) is call quantitative easing and money print by citizen is called a crime. You got to know that for every dollar you deposited into the bank you create 10x more just because of fractional reserve (google that).
And for HSBC to launder 670 billion they were resolved by paying a 1.9 b fine where if you do things a bit more suspicious or you are dealing with a fraudulent merchant, your bank account risk freezing or even confiscation.
Bitcoin is psuedo-anonymous, every single transaction is recorded on the blockchain, a public ledger of all transaction in Bitcoin's protocol. As this said, the information that NSA need is publicly avaliable (****www.cbsnews.com/videos/inside-the-nsa-the-copts/ 60 minutes reports that NSA collects only metadata of phone but not the data, thou most of us know they are lying, but this is what they say and you get what you need)
This is a quote from FinCEN director Jennifer shasky "Because the fact is any financial services, any type of financial institution can be exploited. Cash is probably still the best medium for laundering money." at 48:45 of the Virtual currencies senate hearing.
With the above info, should all major fiat money be banned because it is a major means of what the black market uses?
sonkit
****www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/1ufcqs/bitcoin_is_dead_btc_you_will_be_missed/
Then either it is a scam that covers the core of it very well or it simply isn't. Without understanding its core that is open sourced, you won't know why the reason that Bitcoin is attractive as a tool of e-commerce .
A few points like relatively no to zero transaction cost compared to a 2-3% cut on every transaction on Paypal/Visa. Cross border transaction are with the same fee while using like Western Union will take you 5-10% as fee. Government can't block transaction on the network, just like Internet brought information freedom, Bitcoin brings financial freedom.
These are some of the things that brings Bitcoin the network or protocol the utility value, in order to enjoy these advantages, you can only use Bitcoin the commodity. And therefore a price is given by the freemarket to Bitcoin.
Few days ago, Zynga announced accepting Bitcoin as a payment method, here is an example of how simple the future of e-commerce would be without mind-blowing transaction fee or sharing your name, CVV2, and credit card number all over the Internet.
****www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmN7UtXFRIU
sipsip1238
Criminals and money launderers will always find a way to complete transactions...has been happening through history and will continue to happen.
As a trader who has been on both proprietary desks and portfolio management, this is nothing more than a security for idiots to try and make money quickly with little or no effort, which suits the environment and mindset of Hong Kong quite well.
As an investment vehicle, bitcoin trading isn't robust enough to trade on, especially when there are no hedging alternatives available.
Sonkit might say that you don't need to hedge when you're sure, then you obviously have not been in the market for long enough. Sure there are people who get rich through making big bets, but that's luck, not investing, probability may say that coins turn heads 50% of the time, but doesn't mean that a person can't get heads successively for about 6 times before it turns tails on them for the next 6.
Casper Cheng Tsz-chun from the other article (and also sonkit) claims to be experts and think it's the next thing to trade on, but would they be so interested if bitcoins were just worth $10 and did not spike up to over $1000...don't kid us and yourself, it's the allure of volatility, it's what attracted most of us into markets, but definitely I hope it is not the only thing you learn...
sonkit
@sipsip1238 Sorry for reply you that way, my reply button is gone - -"
First of all, these are just my few cents on what I am investing and what I have knew about Bitcoin, plus my stance on it.
For sure that Bitcoin's price rises quickly in the past few months (or even bigger, considering the livespan, currently, 5 years), and I probably hold a much bigger amount of Bitcoin that I should be holding considering the risk involved. Every investment profile, as you have mentioned should be balanced on the risk and return according to the owner's affordability. For me, I see Bitcoin as a new payment gateway that get chance to emerge in the future. Consider Bitcoin as two things, a protocol like the Internet or TCP/IP and a commodity. Bitcoin the commodity is valuable only if the payment network emerges in the future. By putting allocating some of my money into Bitcoin, I take a bet that Bitcoin the protocol will be more and more useful and used by more people in the future, since this is what gives the network value.
It is sure that for now the volatility is VERY high, with normal 24 hour fluctuation of ~10% and from time to time 30-50% when big news came out. We can't just deny the factor that this issue. 10 billion market cap is nothing in a global perspective.
Again, this is what I believe in. A decentralized payment network, where there are financial freedom, publicly available information, with no corrupted central authority and reckless fee.
sonkit
cont'd
For the volatility now, it would be investing as if you are a venture capital. But as always, we should never put all eggs in the same basket. And whatever you are buying, Caveat emptor is something that we should put it mind, especially for stuff like Bitcoin with quite a lot of unknown in the future and government might just say "ban" and bye to all. It is also true that Bitcoin is not robust enough to be traded on. There had been quite some Bitcoin exchanges (those private one, like MTGOX or Bitstamp) that suffered from issues like lost fund and hacking, and the loss of the trading company will occasionally push the liability to the user and force them to take a haircut.
We've saw e-gold (a gold backed digital currency with central authority) being banned even it is so big and there is never a thing called too big to fail. Bitcoin mitigated the central authority thing where it can be taken down. It is a protocol, an idea. An idea can't simply be destroy or un-invented. "The" digital currency in years later might still be Bitcoin, might be something else, or there is no such thing. Personally own Bitcoin, Ripple (a debt based with central authority), Peercoin (1% inflationary), Mastercoin (an extra protocol above Bitcoin), Bitshares, NXTcoin (with extra features), and of course, the ultimate "hedge" -- HKD.
The greedier you get, the more you lose. Occasionally when my friend brings up the topic of Bitcoin and ask me about it,
cont.
sonkit
cont'd
I don't really bring the price up first. It is just an indicator of how the hype has done its job and how Bitcoin's utility value is growing. I rather talk about what they, merchants around them, or even people in places with capital controls or no financial freedom can do about it. What characteristic it has and what pros and cons that might bring to the current system that we are living on.
Take an example, currently Argentina has a 35% tax surcharge for foreign transaction. This is a result of a government with poor policy and now trying to stop the leak at the expense of the citizen. .
Bitcoin is a digital currency, it is equation based on Maths, it is open source and you can read the source of the program whenever you want. Either it is a yay or nay, I left for whoever listen to my presentation to decide. Everyone foresee a different world, and this is what I foresee.
In the world of technology advancement, we can hardly reach perfection on things like this. Perhaps in the coming years something more powerful and revolutionary that Bitcoin might kill it, the government might co-op themselves and remove the threat to the financial power they have.
For whoever thinking of getting to a robocoin machine. Here is a flowchart
****i.imgur.com/U3HrQDU.png
I guess that is enough typing for now :)
daily
Another channel for black markets to launder money..............that's what bitcoin really does.
rpasea
I assumed the reason it was coming to HK was to tap into all the mainlanders here
JimboToronto
This is not the second BTC ATM in the world. I believe it's not even the second Robocoin ATM.
In addition to the Robocoin in Vancouver, I believe there is also one in Burnaby BC. There is also at least one BTC ATM in Toronto ON.
The one I saw in Toronto on Friday afternoon was a bright orange color and called a BTM (Bitcoin Teller Machine). Unlike the Robocoin which is made in Las Vegas NV, USA, the BTM is made in Ottawa ON, Canada.
Here's a link to a picture:
****i.imgur.com/O9MnxYn.jpg
Hopefully there will soon be multiple BTC ATMs in major cities all around the world.
2014 is already shaping up to be the year of Bitcoin. Just wait until the adoption curve goes vertical.

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