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Bitcoin ATM Coming to Austin, Seattle

Robocoin announced Tuesday that the first Bitcoin Automated Teller Machines (ATM) will be installed in Seattle, Washington and Austin, Texas. The digital currency will be sold at kiosks , similar to ATMs but with scanners to read government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license.

The machines will allow customers to exchange bitcoin for cash, deposit cash to buy more bitcoin and transfer funds to or from their virtual wallets on their smartphones.

The currency operates like a central bank. It is not backed by any government, assets or company, but the release is tightly controlled to mimic the minting of money.

Last week, a massive cyber attack spammed bitcoin exchanges, creating thousands of phantom transactions by unknown programmers, and forcing at least three currency exchange platforms to shut down until they could sort out the real transactions from the spam, highlighting bitcoin vulnerabilities.

The bitcoin’s value fell to about $636; last September, it was $150. The price fluctuates wildly, so that by December 2013, it neared $1000.

Bitcoin will buy products and services online at Overstock.com and other online retailers.

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