Bitcoin has successfully grabbed international attention, and now, here it is in the local scene.
A Bitcoin payment company in the Philippines has introduced the Bitcoin Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) to cater the local consumers who uses Bitcoin in their various business and personal transactions.
In 2014, Bitmarket.ph, a Bitcoin payment platform based in Manila, introduced the Bitcoin ATM in the country.
According to local report, the commercial ATM, which retails for US$999, comes courtesy of manufacturer Project Skyhook.
Furthermore, it allows for one-way transactions, meaning to say that users can buy Bitcoins through it by putting Philippine pesos into the bill acceptor.
Also, the ATM then transfers the corresponding amount of Bitcoin to the user’s address, which is linked when he or she scans a QR code on a smartphone to Skyhook’s camera.
The ATM charges users a three percent fee on top of the Bitcoin sell price listed on CoinXchange.ph.
Asked on its objective on introducing Bitcoin ATM, Bitmarket said, the company’s ultimate goal, however, “is not to make money from its use, but to increase Bitcoin awareness.”
“Our goal is adoption and education,” says Sabina Lopez-Vergara, the director of marketing and public relations for Bitmarket.
“With Bitmarket.ph, we are trying to create the market for users to spend their Bitcoin. But how do they get Bitcoin? The ATM eliminates the hassle of having to deal with an exchange and trekking to the bank to make a deposit. With this ATM, anyone with a Bitcoin wallet can buy Bitcoin. It’s as simple as just going up to a vending machine and purchasing food,” Lopez-Vergara added.
As of now, Bitmarket.ph owns and controls – Satoshi Citadel Industries, it yielded one thing, Filipinos can purchase products and services through one of Bitmarket’s almost 100 merchants, send remittances through Rebit.ph, or tip fellow users through selfie-posting site Bitstars.
The company spokesperson emphasized that “when more people have Bitcoin, they will be looking for ways to spend it. This helps us a great deal in closing the circle of our marketplace.”
The ATM currently sits in the Bitmarket office in Makati City, and the Bitmarket team admits that it has been sparsely used since it was shipped from Portland, Oregon.
Meanwhile, May 2015 when Bitcoin Philippines Corporation formally launched the first two-way Bitcoin ATM in the Philippines.
The two-way Bitcoin ATM named Genesis1 is centrally located in the main lobby of the Sunette Tower Hotel in the heart of Manila’s financial district, Makati City.
The Bitcoin ATM is currently online and processing bitcoin transactions and has been available to the public since the end of April, however, the official launch came more than a week later.
The ATM is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, the Bitcoin ATM was distributed by San Diego, California’s Genesis Inc., which, as the fourth largest Bitcoin ATM software developer, currently has a greater market share than Robocoin.