LOS ANGELES—Considering the adult entertainment industry’s historic and more recent connections to Los Angeles and Cyprus, respectively, the thought of Bitcoin ATMs being available in both locations is rather tantalizing. Well, it looks like the thought is about to become reality. According to CNN Money, entrepreneur Jeff Berwick says the first two Bitcoin ATMs should roll out in L.A. and Cyprus within two weeks.
“So how does a Bitcoin ATM work?” reports CNN. “Somewhat like a traditional ATM, says Berwick. Instead of connecting to your bank account, the software he and his team has developed is installed on an ATM and converts cash to Bitcoins stored in a Bitcoin wallet or extracts cash based on what's stored in your personal Bitcoin account.”
Set-up should be relatively easy, according to Berwick. Like any ATM, it just involves purchasing the ATM, putting cash into it, and establishing and maintaining network connections to people’s Bitcoin wallets.
For those interested in running an ATM, “Berwick will charge roughly $10,000 … to maintain the machines and then split fees with those operators. He expects those fees to be around 3 percent. That's slightly higher than what you'd pay to get cash from an ATM outside your banking network.”
There will undoubtedly be interested investors, and maybe even some from the adult entertainment industry. And why not? As CNN Money reports, “Virtual currencies are a quickly evolving marketplace. Right now, Bitcoin investors can trade in their coins for cash through a number of sites like Coinbase and BitInstant that work directly with banks to facilitate transfers. Some vendors are starting to accept the coins too, including the blog hosting site WordPress and the online community Reddit.” Only today, in fact, the first adult website, BlueBlood.com, announced that it will now accept Bitcoins as payment for membership.
Of course, as AVN has previously reported, not everyone is a diehard Bitcoin fan, even if they have to admit that the technology behind the digital currency actually works, and works well. Such a person is respected Reuters financial blogger Felix Salmon, who yesterday wrote an extensive piece on the subject titled, “The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency.”
“The source code for bitcoin is free and public, which means that just about every hacker and cryptographer in the world has had a crack at it,” he wrote. “And they’ve all come to the same conclusion: it really works.”
In the end, he nonetheless concludes, “The biggest problem with bitcoins, however, is conceptual: if they succeed, they fail.”
Definitely worth a read, especially if you’re tantalized to use one of the new ATMs. Also check out Mt.Gox, the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, for realtime information about Bitcoin prices and other information. As fate would have it, Mt.Gox has been experiencing "a major DDoS attack" since yesterday, but remains up and trading.