A Slovenian bank, LON, has entered into partnership with Bitins, a bitcoin ATMs operate, to provide their customers with the functionality of buying bitcoin at any of the bank’s ATMs across the country.
This is the first time since bitcoin’s invention that a bank is incorporating the currency so directly into their ATMs. In the process effectively endorsing bitcoin.
But the purchase is not direct. Bank customers instead withdraw a bitcoin voucher from the ATM, which they can redeem at Bitins’ website with a flat fee of 4% for the entire process.
Apparently, minus the ATM element and the bank’s involvement, the purchase of such vouchers is a common service in Slovenia with the citizens of the somewhat small, but wealthy European nation that borders Italy, able to buy bitcoin vouchers at petrol stations, but for a higher fee of 7%.
A similar service is not provided in Britain, as far as we are aware, nor in America. Suggesting Slovenia is quite a bit ahead on that front.
The reason may be Bitstamp, Europe’s biggest exchange, the only one regulated in the continent, and one of the oldest bitcoin exchange, which is based in Slovenia although headquarters in London.
They have generally been open to working with regulators and may have perhaps even pushed local adoption of bitcoin in the country, so perhaps explaining their enjoyment of such easy bitcoin purchases.
Which all shows just how far the currency has come since its early days when you had to go through three or four intermediaries and then still cross your fingers in the hope you may receive a btc.
Purchases and selling in many cases can now be as good as instant through online exchanges, with ATMs integration seemingly continuing to increases.
While another aspect has recently began developing. Partnerships with newsagents or corner shops, which are usually found around in as good as every neighborhood. So allowing you to buy bitcoin, or in the future perhaps sell it, while you purchase your morning milk.