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  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 4:10pm


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.

NewsHong Kong

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

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 guess that is enough typing for now :)
Another channel for black markets to launder money..............that's what bitcoin really does.
No, what Bitcoin really does is transfer money internationally in minutes, not banking days at little or no cost.
Money laundering? LOL
Bitcoin's blockchain is a forensic dream, especially when teamed with know-your-customer regulations at most exchanges and banks.
You're living in the past (or brainwashed by propaganda).
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"
I assumed the reason it was coming to HK was to tap into all the mainlanders here
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.
Yawn! When will you stop this hype of bit coins?
I actually feel good about this development. Bitcoin worth is the biggest as a global phenomenon. The more people are involved with bitcoin the higher the exchange rate will be.
For everybody who want to practice with bitcoin, at the following website you can receive free bitcoins:
All you have to to is fill out your bitcoinadress and password, there is no registration procedure. You receive free bitcoins every hour in some sort of lottery (up to +- 0.2 btc!). They really pay out. The fun part is that you can use your winnings to play higher/lower to win additional coins.




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