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A Cincinnati engineer has developed a prototype for a retail fuel dispenser that accepts payments in bitcoins.
A Cincinnati engineer has developed a
prototype for a retail fuel dispenser
that accepts payments in bitcoins.
Andy Schroder, a mechanical engineer based
in Fort Mitchell, designed the Bitcoin Fluid Dispenser II, equipped with a
screen for users to complete their payments. It does not accept cash or credit
The Bitcoin Fluid Dispenser II is a refined
version of Schroder’s Original Bitcoin Fuel Dispenser. The original, which was
unveiled in August 2013, is an impressive device that more or less looked like
a loud science experiment hooked onto Schroder’s truck and included mobile
set-up, wireless communication between the components in the system, a cellular
internet connection, and a web-based userface.
The refined version looks like a typical
gas dispenser. It was unveiled last week and focuses more on durability,
weather resistance, compact design, ease of use, and accuracy. The device
requires a standard 15 amp circuit, and thus could technically be plugged into
any normal wall outlet.
The model only allows prepayment methods
for now, but any unused bitcoins will be returned to the user. In the long run,
Schroder hopes he can integrate Near-Field Communication (NFC) in future models
so users can pay by simply placing their phone against the dispenser. Along
with bitcoin, he hopes to incorporate credit card and cash payments in the
In his first demonstration video, Schroder
highlighted the benefits his dispenser thus:
think this type of device presents a unique opportunity to map the global, geo-spacial
and temporal purchasing power of Bitcoin relative to various commodities at a
Schroder is currently shopping the dispenser around to fuel stations that may want
to install them. He believes that Bitcoin is less susceptible to fraud than
credit cards and that bitcoins are impossible to duplicate like a credit card.
With Bitcoin’s mainstream image still problematic, Schroder might have a long
road ahead of him before his dispensers take off – but he is ultimately
You can watch the Bitcoin Fluid Dispenser II demonstration video here.
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