The first Bitcoin ATM has opened in the Republic of Ireland.
A few weeks or even a couple of days ago, it seemed like there was no hope for Bitvendo – a Bitcoin vending company that operates and maintains the ATM, to launch the service in Dublin.
First, their desired location – a cafe in the Temple Bar area backed out of the agreement, citing issues to do with “legally patrolling the service”. Temple Bar would have been a perfect location. It is a central area with a lot of traffic, both during the day and during the night. Bitvendo persisted, and was able to find a new Bitcoin-friendly location for the ATM – a mobile phone shop called GSM Solutions on Upper Abbey Street.
Secondly, the Bank of Ireland has refused to open a bank account for Bitvendo. The application was rejected, and the company was told that the bank was simply “uncomfortable” with the nature of their business. However silly this may seem, the Bank of Ireland is not the first bank to shy away from businesses dealing with Bitcoin. It’s a similar story with many US and European based banks. Saying the word “Bitcoin” in most banks is like saying you have leprosy. People don’t understand it, don’t want to try to understand it, and stop any form of contact with it immediately. A lot of businesses that accept Bitcoin have had to move bank accounts on a regular basis. Bitcoin-processing businesses have also had bad luck with their accounts.
Despite all of these issues, Bitvendo seems to have done it. Their Bitcoin ATM is up and running, and we would like to see more and more ATMs opening in the future.