The Coin Telegraph reported earlier this month on the spread of Bitcoin ATMs like wildfire all over the world, from Scandinavia to the tropics.
Helsinki is taking a step to becoming quite a hub for the local Bitcoin community, receiving its (and northern Europe’s) first 2 two-way Bitcoin ATMs this week.
Complementing the Lamassu machine at the main railway station, these ATMs are a joint venture by local operator Cointter and Helsinki-based exchange LocalBitcoins.com.
Cointter explains on its website the decision to partner with the exchange:
“We try to minimize possible errors and we have simplified the purchasing process to make it as safe as possible by using the LocalBitcoins wallet.”
The first ATM was quietly opened up for testing at Delish store (Robertinkatu 2) on 31 March, followed by a second machine which will debut at Kynsilaukka restaurant (Fredrikinkatu 22) on 9 April.
According to its Twitter page, Cointter is offering personal advice from staff at the Delish location today.
It is interesting to see how this customer-focused, tailored approach to Bitcoin will fare, and if these non-banking locations will attract dedicated and casual customers as a result.
Using the machine couldn’t be easier. Bitcoin purchases simply involve depositing cash (up to a maximum of 1195 euro) and scanning the QR code generated by the machine to send them to your wallet. Even first-time users can get involved straightaway as the ATM can generate a wallet for them.
Users don’t even need a smartphone at all, with Cointter setting up a dedicated website www.lbtc.in for inputting codes generated at the ATM.
Customers wishing to sell bitcoins can do so and withdraw cash in multiples of 50euro (up to 750 euro at a time) at an exchange rate determined instantly by the ATM to avoid any confusion or delays.
Although little attention has previously been given to the Finnish Bitcoin scene, given the relatively large amount of activity in Helsinki recently, with 3 ATMs now operating, there is clearly quite some curiosity among the locals.
“I've never heard of bitcoin ATM fraud, but we should be aware of machines and companies popping up.” - Matthew Slater