As Obama Asks If He "Should Be Worried" About Bitcoin, ATMs Arrive In 5 Canadian Cities

Tyler Durden's picture

The world's first Bitcoin ATM will be ready for use this week at a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. Created by Las Vegas based Robocoin, the new ATM in Vancouver will allow users to turn bitcoins directly into Canadian dollars, or turn Canadian dollars into bitcoins. As The Telegraph reports, the ATM first scans the user's palm to ensure security and transfers are limited to CAD$3,000 per day. Until now, the currency existed only on the web but the introduction of these ATMs brings bitcoin-as-cash usage closer.


The Bitcoin ATM Promo...


The Bitcoin ATM in action...


Via CBC,

Bitcoiniacs says it has ordered five Bitcoin kiosks from a Las Vegas-based company called RoboCoin... and will be rolled out starting this week in Vancouver...


Four more kiosks will arrive in December and although their locations are not yet certain, Bitcoiniacs says it's eyeing major Canadian cities such as Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa


"Basically, it just make it easier for people to buy and sell Bitcoins and hopefully will drive the adoption of Bitcoin, and make it more accessible for people," says Mitchell Demeter, the 27-year-old owner of Bitcoiniacs.




Currently, acquiring Bitcoins is often done through an exchange, an arduous process that requires users to jump through several hoops, including linking their bank account to the exchange and sending in paperwork to verify their identity.




The RoboCoin kiosks are expected to make the process of buying and selling Bitcoins much easier says Jordan Kelley, the company's chief executive.


"Our goal is to make Bitcoin truly grandma-friendly," says Kelley.




Using a kiosk means you don't have to wait to verify your account on an exchange or hand cash to a stranger, says Kelley. It also makes Bitcoins more accessible to people by adding an element of legitimacy and increases liquidity in the market.




RoboCoin plans to ship out 10 to 15 kiosks to customers before the end of the year. The first one will go to Bitcoiniacs, says Kelley.


Demeter says many Bitcoin startups are gravitating to Canada because the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada — also known as FINTRAC — aren't as strict as regulators in the U.S.


"It's a lot more open up here, that's for sure," says Demeter.


Those last two paragraphs/comments are especially notable in light of President Obama asking Eric Schmidt if "Bitcoin is anything he has to worry about?"


Via Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Here’s a story recently related to me by a guest at a White House dinner, which included Google’s Eric Schmidt: The president, whose most important job is surely to protect the integrity of the monetary system, smugly asked Schmidt if Bitcoin, one of many growing challenges to currency hegemony, was anything he had to worry about.


- From a USA Today article titled: How CEOs are Clueless About Technology

If the above is accurate (and I have no reason to suspect it isn’t), it is priceless information on so many levels. First of all, rather than ask about Bitcoin in an inquisitive manner free of prejudice as a enlightened leader surely would, Obama is merely primatively wondering if he needs to “worry about it.”

Actually Barry, if you had any sense and foresight whatsoever you would be looking at it as a great opportunity. An opportunity for the nation to lead the way in growing the Bitcoin economy and shed the archaic, feudalistic monetary system we are currently enslaved under. However, since you work directly for the oligarch money manipulators themselevs, you are clearly and disastrously unable to see things in a more productive and beneficial way.

Second, as I highlighted earlier this year, Eric Schmidt had no clue what Bitcoin was when Julian Assange first mentioned it to him in a lengthy interview in 2011. The initial exchange went as follows:

Assange: On the publishing end, the magnet links and so on are starting to come up. There’s also a very nice little paper that I’ve seen in relation to Bitcoin, that… you know about Bitcoin?


Schmidt: No.


Assange: Okay, Bitcoin is something that evolved out of the cypherpunks a couple of years ago, and it is an alternative… it is a stateless currency.

So Obama is asking Schmidt for his advice about Bitcoin, when Schmidt had no idea what it was two years after it had been created and released into the wild. One bureaucratic control-freak asking another for advice. What could possibly go wrong?

More from the USA Today article:

The president surely believes his important expertise is in matters of policy, law and political machinations. But he is, too, the chief executive of the U.S. government, with its increasing dependence on digital performance. And, in that area, he seems a near-illiterate, or at least a big boob.


An older establishment that still regards technology as a back-office function, or infrastructure issue, or buyable skill set, vs. an emerging native digital establishment that sees technology as an end in itself, serving a customer base with ever-higher technology expectations and standards.


It is certainly a pertinent question: If the government can’t run an e-commerce website, how in the world can it process all the data that they are supposedly sweeping up to spy on outlaws and citizens?


Non-tech people, no matter their good intentions, can’t do tech, at least never as well as tech people do it. This is something ever-more evident to people steeped in daily digital life, as most Americans are. It is less clear to CEOs, many of whom are somehow still uncertain in their digital habits and reflexes.

Let’s just hope these clowns don’t grasp Bitcoin until it’s already way too late…which fortunately it may already be.

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Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Do you hear that Mr. Obama? That is the sound of inevitability.

Ray1968's picture

Jay Carney just said the President was completely unaware.

NoDebt's picture

Pretty sure we could have guessed that without Jay's help.

insanelysane's picture

O is tormented as on the one hand, bitcoin is trendy, cool, and on the other hand it causes problems for the elites that he serves.

Creepy Lurker's picture

Don't judge too harshly, he's just a dopey little ass napkin.

wintermute's picture

Obama better learn quickly about Bitcoin before he starts receiving his salary in them. Although, being a dead-duck 2nd-termer he might be receiving wheel-barrows of hyperinflated ben-bucks in shrink-wrapped bricks around the time his diastrous term expires in a whimper.

TruthInSunshine's picture

I typically refrain from commenting on bitcoin, but I sometimes simply can't resist.

I am not saying that bitcoin is or is not a legitimately constructive alternative to government issued fiat, but I don't see how even its fiercest supporters can prove that it, in and of itself, has inherent, real value.

There's an even more basic issue with bitcoin that the wise men speak of; if one doesn't or can't understand an asset class completely, one should steer clear of it, no matter the potential profit, due to the potential loss.

macholatte's picture


Bitcoin has a good place as a use for temporary transactions.  Say you want to move some moeny from your Bahamas account to your account in Cayman Islands but don't want that traced.

It's not a savings account.

Tastes great. Less filling. It's a candy mint. No. It's a breath mint.  :)

fonestar's picture

Satoshi is taking heads!

You thought Bitcoin was done when it retraced from $230?  Just give it five years!

Bitcoin is the currency of the resistance!

Rock On Roger's picture

How do you trade when the electricity goes out?


Stack On

fonestar's picture

So does the php, C#, perl, java, etc, etc disappear from your computer when the power goes out in your area as well?  Non-volatile memory is a wonderful thing.

And for you dummies that think that the world that revolves around the United States, newsflash: it does not.  Ie, no... the power is not going out all around planet Earth for ff^uf;s sake....

Rock On Roger's picture

You mistake the power of our star. Around which my world revolves.

Stack On


fonestar's picture

Basing your investing on solar happenings? 

Timelines that could make Kondratiev blush.....

Rock On Roger's picture

Yup. Won't grow any more grass for the next six months. Sun is too close to the horizon.

But I got enough stored for the next 18 months. So I know I'll have a full belly for the next 2 years. How about you? Got enough of those bitcoin to last?


Stacking isn't only Au,Ag,Pb


Stack On


My thinking may be a few waves back... Thanks for the learning tonight.

ForTheWorld's picture

How do you withdraw US Dollar Bills from an ATM if the power goes out? It's exactly the same thing - just with different representations. The US Dollar is a digital currency backed by an army, Bitcoin is a digital currency backed by a distributed network that can only generate a finite amount, thus ensuring scarcity and an increase in price when it becomes more desirable (sort of like Gold).

limit_less's picture

if its truly finite, there is no problem. If there is a back door which no one has noticed that allows infinite creation then we are signing our own death warrant getting involved. I think a back door is possible

wintermute's picture

This is the brilliance of it. There is a blockchain which has all historic transactions. If you own 20 bitcoins then it is in the blockchain. There are probaby 3 million copies of the blockchain scattered in computers all over the planet. All of them say your private key has the 20 bitcoins. Anyone who "back-doors" their blockchain to say they have 20000 will find their transactions rejected by everyone else.

If you have $20k in your bank account then it is only in the computer system of one bank! They might keep a few dozen copies of your holding, but those could be "back-doored" to give you a $0 balance - any time.

Meanwhile the Fed has the back-door of the printing shed open slowly depreciating your $20k until one day it buys a sandwich and a bus ticket to the poorhouse.

Saro's picture

Bitcoin is not a program; it cannot be "backdoored".

Bitcoin is a protocol that lets people talk about transactions in a public ledger.   It would be incredibly trivial to write a program to send a fraudulent transaction into the network, but since the ledger is open, everyone would know it was a fake and disregard it immediately.

Fraudster: "I'm transferring a hojillion bitcoins from ABC account to XYZ account!"
Everyone Else In the World: "ABC account doesn't have a hojillion bitcoins to transfer. /ignore"

unununium's picture

> I think a back door is possible

Dear limit_less.  Yours is the worry of an intelligent person who is not sufficiently technical to judge the answer for themselves.

What's unusual about this moment in history is those who can judge for themselves are in a position to make lots of dough.  By that I mean acquire real dough before others realize what it is.

If you're waiting for the media or your financial advisor to give you the green light, you will be too late.  Your best hope is to learn all you can and judge for yourself.

BTFDemocracy's picture

Bitcoin follows 'laws of thermodynamics', just like gold; there's a financial cost attached in attaining each Bitcoin.

To get Bitcoin you need to mine it, as the difficulty increases in breaking the encryption that acquires each Bitcoin, so does the infrastructure cost and electricity cost. If today it costs $150 in electricity and + $10 per coin in infrastructure cost, no one will be mining Bitcoin if coin price is $60. Just like no one will mine Gold to lose money.
An ounce of gold or a line of code has no difference if the cost of attaining either one is equal. Both Gold's and Bitcoin's value comes from the utility of using them as a currency or store of value.

Throughout most of history people had little industrial use of gold, it was valued for its scarcity. We are born into the belief that gold is valuable. Bitcoin has only been around for 3-4 years. Our kids will beg to differ in the inherent value of Bitcoin.
Bitcoin's competitive advantage comes from the fact it is the first borderless & decentralized currency, --instantly transferrable to anywhere in the world-- a property gold does not have.

Once you look at how to get a Bitcoin bypassing the usual exchanges, and end up at subjects like stealing or mining, the effort involved there is so big it resembles mining gold. Most of the bitcoin miners can't claim they made any big profits, just like in gold mining, most small-scalers lose money and the real winners are the suppliers of infrastructure (electricity and CPU power).

Comparing ounce of gold to Bitcoin:
There's approx 5.8 billion ounces of gold ever mined, compared to Bitcoin's total of 21 million coins possible. ~270:1 ratio. So if Bitcoin ever becomes as 'traded' as gold, each BTC = $300K relative to today's oz gold price.


SilverIsKing's picture

Bitcoin has been money for 42,000 hours while gold has been money for only 5,000 years. Since 42,000 > 5,000, know.

Haole's picture

...and Bitcoin has returned thousands of percent more real, bona fide purchasing power to holders in that short time than gold has in 5000 years but you're so caught-up in your brainwashed, echo-chamber, gold bitchez ideology to even realize that, aren't you?  

SilverIsKing's picture

Please provide the analysis of your assertion.

Haole's picture

Please yank your head out of your fundament, go look at some prices over the timeline and do some rudimentary math for yourself.  Do you want me to go to the bathroom for you too?  

SilverIsKing's picture

Yes please. And flush twice. The wife hates surprises.

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

Now, now you two. Let's settle down.


superflex's picture

He cant, thus, the personal attack.

Alinsky at it's finest.

BTFDemocracy's picture

I agree my Bitcoin vs Gold ounce wasn't very good comparsion, should have compared Market Cap.

ForTheWorld's picture

Gold has been money for 42,000 hours while [insert currency used before Gold was mined in large enough quantities] has been around for only 1,000 years.

Just because something hasn't been around for as long as something else doesn't mean it's not worthy of consideration. If that were the case, people would still trade chickens or wheat for whatever else they need, rather than Gold, Silver or fiat currency. The argument is flawed.

applelover's picture

letters and the post office have been around for hundreds of years and email has been around for a dozen years,  i agree

BitStorm's picture

Carrier pigeons have been used for 5,000 years and e-mail has been around for 30 years. You saying carrier pigeons > e-mail?

IQ of brine shrimp > IQ of SilverIsKing ?

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Bitcoin or other cyber-currencies are beyond the CPU power of most Bubbas. And that's ok and forgivable.

What's not ok and not so forgivable, is that these same Bubbas haven't figured out that it is (a) a competing currency to Central Bankster currencies, and (b) an enemy of fiat (as is gold) but not an enemy of gold.

Clearly either their brains or their souls are too small to cheer for the enemy of their enemy. And then these Bubbas wonder why they keep getting reamed. Sheesh! Give me strength!

Haole's picture

ZH bares the distinction of having some of the most clueless and ignorantly vocal Bubbas on the internet with regards to BTC to the point of making the place smell like stale urine in a parkade stairwell when Bitcoin threads are posted.  Pathetic really given recent history.

SilverIsKing's picture

I have no issue with Bitcoin just as I have no issue with barter. If people want to use them for trade, more power to them. Ultimately, those who control fiat will stop at nothing to kill it, even if it means coming to your home and lighting your computer on fire. When this becomes big enough, and I do think it will, it will be made illegal and the ISPs will be monitoring every keystroke to find those who are dealing in Bitcoin. Anyone who doesn't think .gov would go to such lengths hasn't been paying attention.

malikai's picture

ISPs monitoring keystrokes..

Not to nitpick, but if you want to make a point, it should at least be intelligent.

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

You do realize that keystrokes and clicks are serialized and bundled into packets which are then sent through your ISP to their destination. Yes? Not to nitpic...


ebear's picture

If it works, it will be adopted.  If not, it won't.  A sound currency needs no promotion.  A sound currency sells itself.

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

True. I thought most here were anti-globalization, anti-One World/NWO/ one world gov /one world currency?

What am I missing? Is the bitcorn the seed for the NWO currency that is 100% digital?

Give me your palm print/finger print/ DNA to convert it to juice confetti. FUCK YOU!


ebear's picture

"Is the bitcorn the seed for the NWO currency that is 100% digital?"

I doubt you'll ever see a one world currency for the simple reason that there's no way to arbitrage it.  The most profitable market in the world today is the FX market.  Do you really think the banks are going to give that up?  

Mobius Poop's picture

The unhackable cryptography has value.

The extremely fast borderless transfer times have value.

The bank-beating low fees have value.

The flexibility of the open source protocol has value.

compound interest's picture

".. I don't see how even its fiercest supporters can prove that it, in and of itself, has inherent, real value. .."

People just want to hold it. That's it. Even Gold does not have any more value than that.

Don't forget: there's no such thing as "intrinsic value". That's just a misleading expression suggesting that there are "objective" values in nature. Any value only exists in the human mind, even if we talk about real physical assets.

Bitcoin has proven to be a more successful currency in its very short lifetime than any fiat currency, it achieved more than them: the use of fiat currencies are forced by governments, but BTC is just wanted, not forced. Every country in the world right now uses and issues fiat currencies, and bans any money printing (if not done by the government-appointed banksters). You don't have a choice to use or not use fiat currencies: you must use it, period. Even if you know that it is abused, and you are robbed.

Bitcoin is a choice of a currency. It may be a bubble, may be the next tulip mania (I don't think so, but who knows), but it achieved a status that people now think it is money. It came from nothing, you can't do anything if you lose your bitcoins, you can't rely on a company or an authority, you can't sue anyone if your bitcoins lose their value overnight: still, people want to get it.

One can argue that it is a new tulip mania; I can accept the possibility of that. But it is SURE it is NOT a Ponzi scheme. You always know how your holdings compare to the whole existing stock; you also know how your own holdings compare to the future pool of bitcoins, because it is limited how many bitcoins can be created. You don't know how volatile it will be and what price swings it will make, but you always can be sure of how many %s of the whole big mass of bitcoins you have. If you use a fiat currency, you can't even have a clue, you cannot even have an approximate estimation on how many %s you hold of the whole stock of that particular fiat, because there is no reliable data available; and it is printed endlessly also. EVERY fiat is a Ponzi.

One more thing: if you don't look at BTC as a trendy way to "rebel" against the central banks and the corrupted global fiat system (although it is really a good hedge against central banksters' insanity), but you look at it as a very effective, way more cheap and more simple payment method than any other existing payment system; if you look at its benefits as a technology, then one must accept the fact that the world truly needs something like bitcoins. Secure payment, independent from any banking system or fiat manipulations. I'm not saying that banks should die off completely; I'm just saying that the banking system needs a reset, just like mp3s and torrent downloads transformated the business model of the music industry. What happened to the music industry? Technology made the copying and distributing of music very-very simple and way more cheap than it was. So cheap that the old business model just collapsed, but music industry did not die out, the business model became more complex, and healthier overall. There will be banks in the future, too; but you also need some cash-type of money in the internet, money you can use without banks, without 3rd party verification.

The solving of the "double-spending" problem without a centralized 3rd party verification, this whole peer-2-peer, redundant, distributed, transparent, open-source concept has a potential to be used for purposes other, and much more, than reforming the whole global monetary system. Think of voting. Think of stock trading! Bit-shares. What would it be like to trade shares without an exchange? More coming..

wintermute's picture

"People just want to hold it. That's it."

You can use a metal punch to stamp the letters and numbers of your bitcoin private key into a bar of gold and keep that safe in your stash for years until the btc is needed.

TheHound73's picture

Thank you. That was beautiful,  bookmarked it.  If this were reddit I'd tip you some bitcoin.

Running On Bingo Fuel's picture

Go bitcorn, rah rah rah sis boom bah! Yeeeea Team!!


Saro's picture

"I don't see how even its fiercest supporters can prove that it, in and of itself, has inherent, real value."

As a "fierce" bitcoin supporter, I concur, but only because nothing has inherent value. 

"There's an even more basic issue with bitcoin that the wise men speak of; if one doesn't or can't understand an asset class completely, one should steer clear of it, no matter the potential profit, due to the potential loss."

I also concur with this.  If you don't understand bitcoin, steer clear of it until you educate yourself.  As a kindness, however, please also refrain from making disparaging remarks about it and those who have taken the time to understand it. 

"I don't understand it, therefore I won't invest" is a sensible statement.
"I don't understand it, therefore it's a scam for losers and dupes" is not a sensible statement.