First Bitcoin ATM in Israel debuts

The machine will operate through Bits of Gold, a company that specializes in Bitcoin services for the Israeli market.

By
March 30, 2014 20:13
1 minute read.
Bitcoin

Bitcoin ATM. (photo credit: BITCOIN EMBASSY)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Israel’s first ATM for obtaining bitcoins debuted on Sunday evening at the Bitcoin emBassy, a non-profit group devoted to spreading the virtual currency’s gospel.

The bitcoin ATM functions differently from those consumers are used to. Anyone who is interested in buying bitcoins puts cash into the machine, and it credits their virtual wallet with the currency.

“I am proud that the embassy has made the first bitcoin vending machine available in Israel.

This is part of our mission, to make bitcoins accessible to the general public,” said Ayal Segev, from Bitcoin emBassy.

The machine will operate through Bits of Gold, a company that specializes in bitcoin services for the Israeli market.

The Israeli Bitcoin Association says hundreds of Israeli businesses already accept bitcoins.

Bitcoin was created as a sort of virtual cash in 2009 by a mysterious Internet guru who went by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.

In March, Newsweek alleged that California resident Dorian Nakamoto was the man behind the currency, though he denied any connection.

Since its inception, the currency’s value has been extremely volatile. It had risen from $15 at the start of 2013 to a peak price of over $1,150. On Sunday, it was trading at around $447.


People can purchase bitcoins through online exchanges, but there are often fees involved in the process.

The difficulty of assessing the trustworthiness of an exchange has proven to be an obstacle.

Mt. Gox, one of the biggest bitcoin exchanges sites, declared Bankruptcy in February, and said it had lost hundreds of thousands of bitcoins, worth millions of dollars.

Around that time, the Bank of Israel issued a warning to consumers on the dangers of buying bitcoins and other online currencies.

In addition to their volatile nature, Bank of Israel had said, such currencies are not considered legal tender – meaning nobody has to accept them as a form of payment.

The lack of financial oversight meant that, like cash, they could be used for illicit activities, such as money laundering and funding terrorism.

On Tuesday, the US Internal Revenue Service published guidelines classifying the bitcoin as an asset – not a currency – for tax purposes.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

The Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
April 30, 2015
Teva doubles down on Mylan, despite rejection

By GLOBES, NIV ELIS