First brick-and-mortar Bitcoin seller opens in Hong Kong

If the metaphor that best applies to the Robocoin machines is an ATM, then the appropriate metaphor for Asia Nexgen Bitcoin Exchange’s new storefront in Hong Kong would be … Western Union?

ANXBTC’s 400-square-meter shop actually lets customers walk in and buy Bitcoin with cash. The idea, it seems, is to make the currency more palatable to the non-tech savvy and spur wider-spread adoption of Bitcoin in Hong Kong, China and the world.

Making Bitcoin easier

“What we want to do is enable people to have an easier way to purchase Bitcoins,” company CEO Ken Lo said. “The biggest issue people have right now is buying the bitcoin. People have to put money in, trade it through an exchange online.

"Now, you walk into the store, hand over your cash and send the bitcoin to your digital wallet."


Legal standing

Legally, this works in Hong Kong because the government treats Bitcoin as a commodity, not a currency. All ANXBTC needed was a money service operator license from the customs authority.

To further comply with those rules, customers must show a state-issued ID and proof of residence.

The shop opened Feb. 28, the day Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy. Anyone in Hong Kong can find the ANXBTC store front at 1C, G/F, 118 Connaught Road West.

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