The country's first two operating Bitcoin ATMs have been
unveiled, allowing New Zealanders to buy the digital currency
Two ATMs owned by a local firm called Bitto NZ were launched
at an event in Auckland last night.
Bitto co-founder Jonathan Ewing said the machines were made
by Portuguese firm Lamassu and were two of around 120
currently being used globally.
The machines aren't "hole-in-the-wall" type ATMs and will be
available only for use at events and by appointment, Ewing
The ATMs are one-way and allow users to buy Bitcoin using
cash but not sell the digital currency and withdraw New
This is to encourage people to get involved with Bitcoin
"eco-system," Ewing said.
"We don't want to see them cash-out. There's other methods
and ways for them to do that and we can point people in the
right direction but we're all about helping people get into
People use the machines by scanning a QR code of their
Bitcoin wallet and entering cash into the ATM.
"[Using the machine] you immediately receive the funds in
Bitcoin 30 seconds later, with an up to 10 minute
confirmation time," he said.
The Herald has heard of eight ATMs planned for New Zealand -
six in Auckland and two in Wellington. Ewing said he was
aware of these but wasn't directly involved.
One of the planned ATMs is likely to be a two-way machine,
allowing people to buy Bitcoin and cash out.
Together with the ATMs, a local not-for-profit organisation
aiming to foster the development of the cryptocurrency -
called the Bitcoin Association - was also announced last
Bitcoin is a form of exchange detached from any country,
government or physical commodity. Its users are their own
bank, with Bitcoins stored in and transferred between
encrypted digital wallets.