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Google is behind the latest installation of a Bitcoin ATM in London, it has emerged, with its East London Campus hosting the company’s latest foray into digital currency.
The machine, which is the seventh in the UK capital to allow purchase of BTC with a credit or debit card, is a joint venture between Google and three start-ups Callsign, Wyre and Bitbuddy. The first two are incumbent Campus entities, while Bitbuddy is an unaffiliated third party, IB Times notes.
“Having one of the UK's first BTMs (bitcoin telling machine) at Campus London is only going to encourage more innovation, experimentation and, as a result, transformative British companies,” Sarah Drinkwater, head of Campus London told the publication.
While perhaps viewed as an unlikely propagator of digital currency, Google has in recent months taken increasing interest in the technology behind digital currency. The ATM follows the integration of a BTC price tracker into Google Finance in June, which itself came on the back of instant payment facilitation for Google Glass users at Bitcoin POS outlets.
Drinkwater points to the latest move as rather a technological experiment, however. “Campus members love to experiment and relish access to the most cutting-edge tech commerce opportunities out there,” she explained.
The machine will no doubt shed further publicity onto its backers, in particular Callsign, whose smartphone account verification service has been directly enabled in the installation.
“We are excited to see how consumers will interact with the first Callsign-enabled BTM in the UK,” CEO Zia Hayat said. “"Being exposed to new and growing technologies is critical for entrepreneurs and startup development so I cannot think of a better place for this BTM to be launched.”
Bitcoin ATMs are enjoying steady deployment across the country, with a total of 15 currently active according to CoinATMRadar.com with another one expected to arrive in Manchester on November 7.
In further development this week, the UK government showed its interest in hearing a range of perspectives on digital currency by inviting views and opinions from the public in a country-wide consultation. The move echoes Andreas Antonopoulos’ appearance at the Canadian Senate last month, in which he gave an extensive question-and-answer session as part of the body’s on-going consideration of how Bitcoin and other digital currencies should be treated by law.
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