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Dirty battle brewing: Where is the first Bitcoin ATM in the U.S.?

(Finance News) Today, the web exploded with excitement surrounding the first Bitcoin ATM, but each news organization reported a different city – so who really is home to the first?

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bitcoin atm

bitcoin atm

Uh oh, there’s a conflict a brewin’

This morning, we published a story announcing that the first Bitcoin ATM in America will open tomorrow in Austin, but apparently, there are stories floating around that Boston, Albuquerque, or maybe even Seattle are home to the first Bitcoin ATM in operation. There are three reasons that there is confusion surrounding the issue.

First, there are two Bitcoin ATM manufacturers (Robocoin and Lamassu) that have products going live this week, so the first element of the confusion is rooted in this competition and conflicting information with both claiming to be first.

Third, there are machines being called ATMs that some wouldn’t necessarily consider to be ATMs, because we’re used to a bi-directional transaction machine, but some of the machines live this week are uni-directional.

Let’s talk about what each city is offering and when to determine the true winner of where the hell the first real Bitcoin ATM is in the United States O’ America.

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Canada did it first

Asia and Canada already have Bitcoin ATMs in operation, so like they say on South Park, blame Canada. Today’s argument is focused on where in the United States can claim the fame of having the first operational Bitcoin ATM.

Is Boston the winner?

In Boston, Liberty Teller unveiled a working Bitcoin ATM this morning made by Lamassu, but it is not anchored, but is manned by the creators, and it is said that you can deposit Bitcoin from the machine into an existing digital wallet by scanning a QR code or via paper wallet, which can be printed at the machine. In other words, you put cash in, you get Bitcoin out.

The creators are manning the table with the machine until they figure out how to get it permanently installed, with the following photo courtesy of Reddit user, nothanks123:
bitcoin atm

We suspect that they got this up and running to be able to claim a first before the permanent install was really ready, but that doesn’t make them any less in first place.

Is Seattle the winner?

Several news organizations have misread Robocoins press releases and have published stories (like this one) indicating that the city will have operational Bitcoin ATMs later this month, but with other cities already operating the machine, Seattle isn’t the winner of this race. Sorry, you may have won the Super Bowl, but not the Bitcoin ATM race.

Is Albuquerque the winner?

Yesterday, Lamassu flipped the “on” switch on one of their machines yesterday, which is permanently installed at Imbibe, an upscale cigar bar and lounge in Albuquerque near the University of New Mexico. Because it is a uni-directional ATM, it is still an ATM, nonetheless. Lamassu calls it more of a “vending machine” since it does not dispense cash, but it is an ATM based on the actual definition.

CNET offers a picture of the device live as of yesterday, February 18th:
enchanted bitcoins albuquerque

Is Austin the winner?

We reported earlier today that Austin would be the first in the nation to be home to a real Bitcoin ATM, and while it will be a Robocoin machine and bi-directional (can pull or deposit cash), it will not go live until tomorrow. Many consider this the first Bitcoin ATM, given that the founder of Lamassu calls his machine more of a vending machine because it is uni-directional, based on the definition of ATM, Austin is not the first to get a machine, but is first to get a bi-directional ATM.

So who is the winner?

IT’S A TIE. Kind of.

Austin is, in fact, the home of the first bi-directional ATM that allows you to pull cash in a traditional sense, but Albuquerque is the home of the first uni-direcitonal ATM which pre-dates Austin by two days.

So we’ll leave it to you – do you think Austin or Albuquerque is first to have a Bitcoin ATM?

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Bitcoin ATM

    March 5, 2014 at 1:18 am

    “Get used a
    lot by both honest and dis honest people, No problems”

    https://www.bitcoinmoneyatm.com

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Business Finance

Ex-PayPal execs launch new payment system, raising eyebrows

(FINANCE) A new payment system has been launched, already causing controversy, raising skeptical eyebrows, all while earning fanfare.

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initiative Q payment system

Have you heard of Initiative Q yet? Perhaps your friends’ Facebook posts about it (or maybe you’ve posted about it yourself, asking your friends to sign up for this “payment system of the future”).

A quick Facebook search revealed several friends (and friends of friends) who had posted “invites” to join the effort to create to a new currency in the past couple months.

Most of these posts contained various iterations of the following description:

“Initiative Q is an attempt by ex-PayPal guys to create a new payment system instead of credit cards that were designed in the 1950s. The system uses its own currency, the Q, and to get people to start using the system once it’s ready they are allocating Qs for free to people that sign up now (the amount drops as more people join – so better to join early). Signing up is free and they only ask for your name and an email address. There’s nothing to lose but if this payment system becomes a world leading payment method your Qs can be worth a lot. If you missed getting bitcoin seven years ago, you wouldn’t want to miss this.”

These posts then included a signup link and a warning that the link would no longer work once the person who posted was “out of invites,” creating a sense of urgency for interested friends.

But what are people signing up for, exactly? The folks behind Initiative Q have explained the economic model behind the currency system, but for those of us who don’t hold an economics degree, here’s the gist:

The first thing to know is, it’s not a cryptocurrency. Second, despite accusations saying otherwise, it isn’t a pyramid scheme, according to Forbes. This is because a pyramid scheme needs money to operate, and — so far — no one who has joined has been asked to invest a single penny. Think of it as a global currency.

Founder Saar Wilf (whose payment security company was acquired by PayPal in 2008) told Forbes, “We want people to be able to pay for a meal like they would an Uber. To use artificial intelligence to allow families and businesses to share accounts. To have an international currency that can be traded and shared without the ill-equipped processes that are currently in place and cost so much time and money.”

The initiative has some skeptics, for course. Some see several hurdles in Q’s way, including meeting government regulations and requirements across multiple jurisdictions across the globe.

So, what’s ahead for Initiative Q? According to its road map, it will continue its membership drive through mid-2019, then begin work on developing an advanced payment network, with hopes of launching select Q locations in 2020.

The verdict?

Initiative Q is still in its infancy. Will it become the global success its creators hope it will? Or will it follow in the footsteps of the thousands of dead cryptocurrency and blockchain projects? Only time will tell.

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Business Finance

7 ways to get your freelance invoices paid more quickly

(FINANCE) It’s easy to feel uncomfortable bringing up money with your superiors, but for a freelancer, it’s more important than ever to bring up the issue. Here are 7 tips to get your invoices paid quickly.

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For many, an awkward topic of conversation revolves around money. Whether asking for a raise or asking to borrow money, people often feeling uncomfortable when talking money.

This is equally, or possibly even more so, true for freelancers who are solely in charge of their finances. Without a system of weekly direct deposit, freelancers have to work overtime to keep their earnings in order.

The issue with this is that clients also have a lot on their plates, and something as simple as a freelancer’s paycheck is common to fall through the cracks. This causes freelancers to have to work friendly reminders into their repertoire.

However, freelancers may not always be knowledgeable of the best ways to keep their finances in check (no pun intended). Below are seven ways to enhance payment methods.

  1. You have to be willing to make billing a priority. Due to the fact that money is awkward to talk about, as aforementioned, many let this fall by the wayside. The best way to do this is to keep up to date with your invoices and send them as soon as they are done. Making a calendar specific for billing can help with this idea.
  2. This second bit dates back to when we were young and learning our manners: it is crucial to be polite. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also increases speed in payment. Using “please” and “thank you” in invoicing emails are said to get you paid five percent faster.
  3. It is best to try and keep a complicated concept like finance as simple as possible. Make sure you are creating specific due dates. This will help to signify importance of payment.
  4. Now that virtually anything can be done online, it would make sense to use electronic payment verses an old-school check. Accepting online payments will get a user paid, on average, eight days faster as opposed to a check.
  5. This is an important notion to keep in mind for any aspect of your business life: be professional. Invoices are often seen by many eyes so it is best to include your business’s logo on said invoice. This has been found to increase chances of being paid on time by 10 percent.
  6. Specificity is urged again in the form of transparency. Make sure you are giving detailed descriptions on each invoice so that anyone looking at it knows exactly what you are being paid for. By doing this, you are 15 percent more likely to be paid on time.
  7. While you may be invoicing month by month, try to avoid sending on the 30th or 31st. Being that everyone, generally, sends their invoices in on these dates, it takes 10 – 20 percent longer to be paid. With everyone sending it at the end of the month, it has a tendency to back up payroll.

The most important thing to remember is that while the topic of money may be awkward, it is your money. If you let a few invoices fall behind because you are uncomfortable reminding your client, this has a way of adding up. Be sure to keep on track with your finances to earn what you are working for.

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Business Finance

Laugh at Bitcoin all you want, but Ohio business taxes can soon be paid in crypto

(BUSINESS FINANCE) Cryptocurrencies are still widely misunderstood, but an innovative Treasurer in OH is making crypto history.

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Ohio. The part of a title of that one Bowling for Soup song, home of Lake Erie and now the first state to start accepting crypto as a form of payment for taxes.

On Monday, December 3rd, businesses in Ohio will be able to pay their taxes in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

It seems like a rather easy process to enroll. Companies that want to join in on all of the history-making, crypto fun just have to go to OhioCrypto.com and then register to pay whatever taxes they want in crypto. There are 23 eligible business-related taxes and there is no transaction limit.

While there is no timeline set, there are hopes of expanding the program to individual tax payers.

Ohio’s state treasurer, Josh Mandel, is the man responsible for the state’s light speed propulsion into the finance future. The crypto program is just one step of many of the state’s bigger picture goal of rebranding itself as tech-friendly. Mandel is quoted as saying, “We’re doing this to provide Ohioans more options and ease in paying their taxes and also to project Ohio’s leadership in embracing blockchain technology.”

I had no clue Ohio residents were referred to as Ohioans, but onto the thought I’m sure looming in the back of everyone else’s mind:

What could go wrong with a crypto tax payment program?

For starters, the crypto market is currently the definition of a dumpster fire. Crypto has been in a nose dive for sometime now. Last November, Bitcoin prices capped off at about $8,000. This November, it isn’t even half of that.

Also, what is a stat going to do with a bunch of crypto currency. The treasurer’s office is not holding, mining or investing in crypto for payments or processing. Instead, the state will work with a cryptocurrency payment startup, BitPay to convert the bitcoin to dollars. But per the startup’s official blog, their open-source Bitcoin wallet Copay has been compromised by malicious code. BitPay says that their app was not vulnerable to the malicious code but that they are investigating whether or not any of the CoPay users had been exploited by the vulnerability.

Ignoring those slight holes in the plan, it is kind of cool that Ohio is the first state to make its foray into blockchain payments. They even have plan to expand into other cryptos in the future.

Never thought I’d say that Ohio would lead the way into the future but hey, it’s been a weird year, so why not.

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