Government officials and central banks don’t quite know what to make of Bitcoin. Certain law enforcement agencies disapprove of the online currency, particularly because of its use in illicit transactions, while Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke favorably of Bitcoin. Meanwhile, Chinese officials are sitting back and waiting to see how Bitcoin will affect revenue streams.
And now it seems Bitcoin is getting stronger with the introduction of a new Bitcoin ATM.
Known as the Travelers Box, users can convert foreign currency into Bitcoins for their e-wallets, or the money can be transferred to their Paypal accounts. This will save travelers the hassle of having to leave behind their old currency, and it will allow them to keep their money wherever they go.
It is also a big step in introducing Bitcoin into the mainstream.
The Travelers Box is currently restricted to the Ataturk Airport in Turkey, but demand has been so high that it forced the kiosk to go offline. However, Travelers Box is hoping to put the ATM back into service in the near future.
This is a good sign for the company, especially as it considers expanding operations in different countries.
Travelers Box is hoping to work with officials in different countries to introduce this new Bitcoin box around the world. The company is conducting discussions with over 40 international airports.
Users may find a problem with the fees associated with the Traveler’s Box, but when you look at the amount of money you’ll be able to save by converting currency, its widespread popularity should come as no surprise.
We’ve heard of Bitcoin’s success and how it recently skyrocketed to a value over $1000 on the Mt. Gox exchange, but is it too soon for a Bitcoin kiosk?
This is a legitimate question to ask, since many retailers and stores still do not accept Bitcoins; however, more merchants are finding that Bitcoins do not come with the baggage of debit/credit card fees, and more are beginning to accept the virtual currency.
One way to see if Travelers Box will do well is to watch other competing Bitcoin ATMs. Robocoin reached $81,000 in trading, and Vancouver-based Bitcoiniacs has enjoyed a measure of success, Geek Wire reports.
What we’re seeing now are the seedlings of something monumental around the world. In a world of globalization and interconnectedness, I predict Bitcoin ATMs will eventually become a common sight in nearly every major company.
Even critics who wrote off Bitcoin are beginning to accept this infant currency. Though Bitcoin departs from conventional financial norms, more are beginning to realize it’s here to stay.
First and foremost, more people want to protect their wealth in times of economic uncertainty, tight government restrictions, and heavy taxation.
And since Bitcoin is very much patterned after gold, with its mining circulation already capped, the currency will become more valuable over time.
But what could bring about Bitcoin’s downfall?
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One of the primary reasons Bitcoin has risen to such popularity is because of the Middle Kingdom.
The government’s strict laws regarding a $50,000 wealth-limit withdrawal from the country has forced nationals to consider alternative means, such as converting their money into Bitcoin and selling it back.
This sounds like a good way to circumvent Chinese authorities, but if this method is used too frequently, the Chinese could easily clamp down by shutting down Bitcoin traders, which would send the value of the currency down the drain.
If fewer people use Bitcoin, we could also see a drawback of the currency’s popularity among investors. This is something Travelers Box needs to pay attention to as it is expanding abroad.
But the Chinese will not be able to kill off Bitcoin entirely. If this happens, it will only be a matter of time before other nations become Bitcoin havens – especially the U.S., whose officials are secretly giving a wink-wink to Bitcoin as it becoming a larger thorn in China’s side.
And one of the many critiques Bitcoins receives is its fluctuation in value. To some investors, this may seem unstable, but it allows others to jump in while prices are low in order to sell high later.
If you’re worried about getting in on Bitcoin too late in the game, you need not worry. You may be able to jump on the Bitcoin roller coaster when prices dip.
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