BITBOX will launch the Middle East’s first bitcoin ATM tomorrow evening local time in Tel Aviv. The specialized vending machine allows even novice bitcoin users to both purchase and sell bitcoins in a very secure manner.
I admit to belonging to the crowd that hasn’t become too excited about bitcoin, because I’ve been waiting to see how serious it will become. This news from Israel has my attention, and should have yours too.
The ATM will open in the lobby of TOWN-HOUSE TLV hotel, 32 Yavne St. at the corner of Rothschild Blvd on Wednesday 11 June, 2014, at 7pm.
“Bitcoin is experiencing a massive growth-trend in Israel but until now all transactions must either be carried out through a bank, with a lot of bureaucratic hurdles involved, or through trading with private individuals which can be unreliable and raise questions of trustworthiness,” said Nimrod Gruber, CEO of BITBOX.
“The launch of the first Bitcoin ATM in the Middle East will allow any person with no previous knowledge of bitcoin and how it works to easily buy and sell bitcoin 24/7 bypassing the bureaucracy of the banks”.
Gruber adds that the familiar interface will make it easy for users to exchange their bitcoins for local currency (Shekels). They can also purchase bitcoins, and anyone who doesn’t have what is called a wallet, which is how this currency is stored, the ATM will create one on the spot.
Bitcoin is an alternative currency developed in 2009 by developer Satoshi Nakamoto as a way to bypass bureaucracy and facilitate easier transactions.
The bitcoin system has no central repository and no single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to call bitcoin a decentralized virtual currency, according to Wikipedia.
Because bitcoins can be transferred directly from one person to another they are sometimes described as digital cash. A common way of buying bitcoin is with PayPal. Although its status as a currency is disputed, media reports often refer to bitcoin as a cryptocurrency or digital currency.
BITBOX explains that the ATM will be particularly useful for Israel’s foreign workers. They can buy bitcoins through the ATM in Tel Aviv and minutes later, their families will be able to withdraw cash in local currency in a similar bitcoin ATM in their home country.
Made by US-based Robocoin, the ATM is said to be very secure.
Phone, PIN, and palm-vein secure customer accounts against theft and fraud, according to BITBOX. And the security features comply with strict anti-money laundering regulation.