Hungary gets bitcoin ATM despite concerns from central bank

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Does a city in your country have a bitcoin ATM, otherwise known as a BTM, yet? If not then it’s likely coming soon or the financial regulations have become too much for digital currency entrepreneurs to tackle.

In Hungary, the European nation received its very first bitcoin cash machine this week at a bar in central Budapest. Local bitcoiners have completely dismissed the central bank’s warning that virtual currencies pose considerable risks and threats to both consumers and the financial system.

The BTM works like any other preceding bitcoin cash machine: customers feed the machine with Hungarian forints and it then electronically transfers the funds into digital currency – the entire process takes 15 seconds. In the future, the company that owns and operates the BTM says users will be able to do the opposite, too: exchange bitcoins for forints.

If trouble occurs then customers can contact Octarine Labs in either English or Hungarian during Club Anker operating hours.

“We want to make sure that we comply with all laws in Hungary. I’m really excited for the ATM to be in this place because it’s really central for Hungarians and tourists as well,” Octarine Labs CEO Barnabás Debreczeni told the Bitcoinist in an interview. “I’d love to see 1000 transactions before Christmas. I’m expecting both Hungarians and tourists to come in and use the ATM, especially when tourists will be able to cash out.”

Earlier this year, the Hungarian central bank issued a warning on the peer-to-peer decentralized digital currency industry and urged consumers to understand and be aware of the potential risks that could come using “virtual tender.”

The future of bitcon and the BTM in Hungary really depends on consumers’ reaction to it, says Barnabás Debreczen, who is the machine operator. He conceded that only a few people would be initially interested in the BTM, but this kind of first step can lead to big things in Budapest.

“This is just the first step, right now of course only a few people are interested in it, but these kinds of first steps can help Bitcoin to be a common and friendly thing which can be used by the taxi driver, the policeman and even my mum,” said Debreczen in an interview with Euronews.

Europe is currently enjoying an estimated 20 bitcoin dispensers. Next summer, Debreczen hopes tourists will use this machine and convert their money in a more affordable way compared to traditional ATMs.

The number of machines could substantially grow, according to István Varga, a former central bank official, who has become a bitcoin supporter and was in attendance for the unveiling.

“This is how it starts, and in the end this will grow throughout society and become a natural part of our everyday lives,” averred Varga.

Coinbuzz

CoinBuzz provides news and analysis on Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Founded in 2014, the site has quickly become a leading source of information on digital currency technologies, businesses, markets, and regulation.

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