Yet another Bitcoin ATM has arrived in Italy, but what makes this model different is that it’s proudly built in Italy itself.
If you are not familiar with virtual currencies, the idea of a Bitcoin ATM might seem slightly contradictory. After all, ATM’s are for withdrawing physical cash, fiat currency and Bitcoin is well, virtual. But while the first ATMs were simple cash dispensing machines modern ATMs have become an extension of the bank that can be used for many different kinds of transactions.
Made in Italy
Bit-Wallet, which was created in cooperation with CoinCapital, has launched a two-way Bit-Wallet machine that will allow users with a valid transaction address to not only buy Bitcoin but also to convert Bitcoin to instant cash.
You will have two options when purchasing the machine, which weights about 20kg and pictured below. The first is the one directional machine. These units allow you to both buy Bitcoins and accept payment from customers. The two-way unit, however, allows users to not only buy and accept Bitcoin but to convert Bitcoin into cash.
The system is fully programmable and comes with a 10” screen. Both models measure at 45cm x 50cm x 40 cm making it is very portable, perfect for booths and kiosks, whether temporary such as at conventions and fairs, or stationary like you would find in a shopping mall. The machine is connected via Wi-Fi and has a built-in camera.
The ATM machine is manufactured in Italy. This could be an important step in getting Bitcoin to catch on in Italy, which hasn’t received cryptocurrencies as warmly relative to other European nations like Denmark or Germany. The EU as a whole has called Bitcoin a “currency” but has also distributed warnings to citizens that it is unregulated and therefore there are serious risks to consider. They have also refrained from initiating any blanket regulations for all EU countries, leaving the issue up to the member nations themselves.
Italy has, at least on the surface, decided to follow the same path as the EU and has not made any attempts to regulate cryptocurrencies so far, following the framework of the 2012 Directive. But the regulations already in place are dubiously worded and restrict the use of “electronic money” for anyone except banks and registered electronic money institutions that are approved by the Central Bank of Italy.
But since the Italian government has not ruled on whether or not Bitcoin is a currency while the EU has referred to Bitcoin as “currency,” prospective merchants who want to invest in this machine will likely be subject to EU jurisdiction. Nevertheless, they should still be prepared to operate amidst the uncertainty of the gray market.