First U.S. Bitcoin ATMs to Open Soon in Seattle, Austin

Deborah Jones/AFP/Getty ImagesA bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, Canada.
By Phil Wahba

Robocoin late this month plans to install the first ATMs in the U.S. that let users buy and sell bitcoin, the latest step into the mainstream for the digital currency, the company said Tuesday.

The kiosks, to be installed in Seattle, and Austin, Texas, are similar to ATMs but have scanners to read government-issued identification such as a driver's license or a passport to confirm users' identities.

The ATMs will allow people to swap bitcoin for cash, or deposit cash to buy more bitcoin by transferring funds to or from a virtual wallet on their smartphones.

Bitcoin was launched in 2008 and is traded within a global network of computers.
It isn't backed by a single company or government and has no assets behind it, but its release is tightly controlled, mimicking a central banking system's control over the minting of money.

Robocoin, based in Las Vegas, installed its first bitcoin ATM in Vancouver last fall and will also start operating one in Calgary, Alberta, later this month. Robocoin also is planning to install ATMs in Asia and Europe.

A bitcoin is currently worth about $636, but its value has fluctuated widely as the currency's visibility has increased. Last September, a bitcoin was worth around $150. By late December the value was near the $1,000 mark.

Users can buy products and services online on sites including (OSTK) or in a handful of stores.

The currency's reputation took a hit last week when two of its best known exchanges suspended withdrawals. One of them, Slovenia-based Bitstamp, said Friday it planned to allow redemptions to resume.

$2.7M In Bitcoins Stolen From Black Market Site

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Isn't this tantamount to printing your own money? Is this even legal?

February 18 2014 at 10:55 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Hey Seattle and Austin--becareful

February 18 2014 at 8:16 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Every Las Vegas Casino has their own BitCoins --- Please Don't Gamble with it and it will be a one way traffic road.

February 18 2014 at 8:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

The reincarnation of Jekyll Island Terrorists

February 18 2014 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Can you actually have a bit coin physically in your hand?

February 18 2014 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Uh, huh. And of course there are enough bit coin owners to make this cost effective? Nah, it's for publicity.

February 18 2014 at 6:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Oh my, I can just feel the itch of the players wondering how I can scam this one...Oh, that's right, we already have that, it's called THE COMMODITY MARKET.

February 18 2014 at 5:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This is the biggest scam going. People will believe anything. Keep your cash idiots.

February 18 2014 at 4:32 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Oh the US Dollar is terrible! Oh Bitcoin is wonderful! Just give us all of your terrible Dollars and we will give you these very valuable Bitcoins.

AOL creativeness at it's best just copy and paste an article from Reuters.

Every Country has banned Bitcoins except Obama's lawless land of America.

February 18 2014 at 3:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Hmm, 2.7 million bitcoins hacked from Silk Road (black market site). Wouldn't it be a hoot if the whole thing turned out to be a big scam set up by hackers and some day at exactly twelve midnight Greenwich time, all the bit coin on the planet suddenly dissapeared ... poof!

February 18 2014 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply