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Bitcoin ATM hits Vancouver next month

Bitcoin is coming to Vancouver, in the form of ATM machines. A bitcoin exchange there is installing machines that will enable people to buy and sell bitcoin for fiat currency.

Launched in 2009, bitcoin is what's known as a crypto currency. It is produced by 'miners' who use their own computers to solve complex mathematical problems in a competition that repeats roughly every 10 minutes. In exchange, the winners are given 25 bitcoins, which at the time of writing are currently worth around $130 each.

Screen Shot 2013-09-09 at 12.47.12 PMBut producing them on your own computer isn't the only way to get bitcoins. You can buy them using traditional cash, either from exchanges (such as Canada's own Virtex), or via transactions on the street, arranged using sites such as LocalBitcoins

But both of these methods can be time-consuming. Now, Vancouver-based Bitcoiniacs - a physical exchange for bitcoins – is installing bitcoin ATMs from Las Vegas-based Robocoin.

The ATM will enable you to buy bitcoins by depositing dollars, or to sell your bitcoins, giving you dollars back. The first one goes up in Vancouver at the start of next month. The site has yet to be determined, but the founders are angling for a Waves coffee shop that already accepts bitcoins from customers.

Then, around the turn of December, Bitcoiniacs wants to roll out four other bitcoin ATMs, in Ottawa, Montréal, Toronto, and Calgary.

This makes Canada the first country to get the bitcoin ATM from Robocoin, putting this on the map as far as crypto currency goes.

It's a significant development for bitcoin, which has still largely been marginalized as a geek currency ('gold for nerds', if you like). This makes it easier for people to get access to the currency, which they can then spend at selected outlets, or, more realistically, online.

Will you be giving your dollars to the bitcoin ATM?

Danny Bradbury, MSN Tech & Gadgets



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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.