In pictures: Australia's first Bitcoin ATM pops up in Sydney

Now you can buy and sell Bitcoin at the Westfield mall

  • Get ready to buy and sell Bitcoin at the mall. ABA Technologies has launched Australia's first Bitcoin ATM machine in Sydney. Photos: Ian Sharp

  • The Bitcoin machine was switched on today at the Westfield Sydney Central Plaza in Pitt Street Mall.

  • The two-way ATM machine lets users buy and sell their bitcoins for Australian cash. The machine connects to a Bitcoin exchange and buys Bitcoins at the current trading rate.

  • Looking for a place to spend your bitcoins? Cellini’s, a café located conveniently across from the Bitcoin ATM machine, will accept Bitcoin as payment.

  • The company behind the ATM machines, ABA Technology, plans to launch another machine in the Melbourne CBD in a few weeks, according to its CEO, Chris Guzowski. He said the company wants to bring at least one machine to each of Australia’s capital cities. The Sydney machine was built by RoboCoin, but ABA plans to test different manufacturers’ machines in each market to see what’s best for users.

  • While a growing number of people are aware of Bitcoin, fewer of them know how to get their hands on the currency, said Guzowski. The ATM machine “brings it into the physical realm.” “Something that has been associated with the Internet and mystery is now smack bang in the middle of the Sydney CBD in a blue chip shopping centre. So it’s exciting and I think this will very much help the adoption.”

  • The verification process includes entering a phone number, PIN and scanning the user’s palm. The machine has encryption security and is compliant with international regulations concerning unlawful transactions.

  • “We’re anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing compliant,” said Guzowski.

  • Since not everyone will instantly know what a Bitcoin machine is, let alone how to use it, ABA Technologies plans to have helpers on hand for the first two weeks to introduce consumers to the machine.

  • Bitcoin won’t replace cash, said Guzowski. “There’s more cash in circulation than there ever has been,” he said. “This is a complementary technology to existing systems.” The point of Bitcoin is to remove “a lot financial friction that currently exists,” Guzowski said. “It will save customers money. It will make their lives easier by making transactions happen faster and cheaper.”

  • Travellers are a key target market for the Bitcoin machine because they can quickly collect local currency from the machine or convert it into Bitcoin at an exchange rate that Guzowski said is lower than most cash exchange locations. ABA Technologies has 2 per cent spread fee on top of the market rate for conversion.

  • “This a technology that’s maturing,” said Guzowski on the future prospects of Bitcoin. “It’s still the very early stages with a lot of talk about it, but I compare this to the Internet before companies had websites.” As more people use it, more places will accept it as payment, which in turn will encourage even more people to adopt Bitcoin, he said. Pictured: Guzowski (right) and ABA Technologies director Robert Masters.

  • Guzowski (pictured) is the CEO of ABA Technology. The company is a merger of Australian Bitcoins ATMs and Kryptocurrency Solutions. It was founded in December last year and has raised $270,000 in capital. “We’ll be going through more capital raising when that’s required, and we’ll be rolling out machines to Australia and abroad,” he said.

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