[Editor's Note: The following post is by TDV Editor-in-Chief, Jeff Berwick]
While European politicos negotiate in Brussels, deciding the fate of other people's money in Cyprus, the free market has already moved in to help Cypriots get access to their money via other means…
Banks have been closed for the last week in Cyprus and if they do re-open on Tuesday, it has now been announced that daily withdrawal limits at ATMs will be 100 euros per day.
As the Cypriot Drama unfolds before our very eyes, I began pondering what tangible solutions there are to bank holidays and bank runs. What could I do to help in Cyprus and all other countries (like Spain, Greece and Italy) for which, as we have predicted at TDV, bank closures are coming? The answer wasn’t hard to come up with. If these people had simply bought bitcoins with their savings, not only would they currently have 100% access to their funds, but also they would have enjoyed a parabolic move to the upside over past months.
ENTER THE WORLD'S FIRST OPERATIONAL BITCOIN ATM
Upon examination of the marketplace and many discussions with Justin O’Connell (TDV Newsletter & Gold Silver Bitcoin), as well as another key strategic partner of ours, I have decided to move forward with what I believe could be the next multi-billion dollar business venture: Bitcoin ATM.
But that isn’t all. It is wholly our intention at Bitcoin ATM to put the company in the right position to open its very first ATM in Cyprus. If we did this now, and we are moving quickly to make this so, we would be the only functioning ATM on the island.
How do I know this is such a good idea? Just look at what Bloomberg recently wrote about Bitcoin as currency:
One place where it’s not safe is in Bitcoin. Bitcoin is generally referred to as a “digital currency” or “virtual currency,” a form of cash that doesn’t need government backing. Unfortunately it’s missing the most essential aspect of money: it’s not useful for buying anything. Bitcoin’s rise as a tool for financial speculation underlines the failure of the virtual currency idea.
As Dollar Vigilante readers will know, I take issue with a number of assumptions in this paragraph. For instance, no economic law exists (in the real world) which stipulates that cash needs government backing. Also, I have found that Bitcoin is useful for many things, not the least of which are the many things we accept Bitcoin for here at TDV Media, such as TDV Offshore, TDV Passports, TDV Newsletter, TDV Homegrown, and Get Your Gold Out Of Dodge.
I am not the first person to note Bitcoin’s Aristotelian attributes as money.
Durability: Bitcoin exists on the networks of users everywhere. Just like the internet, there is no singular switch to turn Bitcoin off. Bitcoin has already seen tremendous volatility, and the userbase has remained.
Portability: What’s more portable than a flash drive? Or, how about a private key memorized in your brain. There is nothing more portable than a thought, and that’s what Bitcoin can be if you memorize your private key and keep the coins on a cold storage medium (also another technology the Bitcoin ATM team has planned).
Fungibility: Bitcoin is divisible up to 8 decimal places. That means that at its current growth (inflation) rate of 3,600 bitcoin-a-day, the ultimate total amount of 21,000,000 bitcoin ever to be on the market can be divided among billions of people on the planet.
Intrinsic Value: A bet for Bitcoin is a bet for the Internet. We all have first hand experience with the intrinsic value of the Internet. What’s more, Bitcoin values the notion of privacy in a world where privacy has become scarcer than silver.
In Europe, institutions like the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank & the German Federal Government have forced individuals to suffer through the confiscation and devaluation of their savings through techniques like taxes, levies and inflation.
The European Central Bank published a report in October, which stated that increased demand for Bitcoin “could have a negative impact on the reputation of central banks,” particularly if the public perceives Bitcoin’s value is due to “a central bank not doing its job properly.” Yet another reason why I know this idea is a good one.
These reasons and others are why I feel that Bitcoin ATM’s time is now. We picked our slogan, “Your Future Now,” to demonstrate the immediacy with which we feel we must roll out this technology.
I’ve founded many successful internet companies, and rarely have I been as excited about an idea as Bitcoin ATM. I’ve got a great, knowledgeable team who has already contacted important people within and without the ATM and bitcoin communities to make this feasible. You'll be intrigued by the unexpected relationships we're forging to bring Bitcoin to more people across the globe. In gauging shop owners in the digital currency unfriendly state of California last week, the Bitcoin ATM team discovered great interest from not only those who knew Bitcoin, but also from those who did not. Stateless currencies will be a way of the future, and that’s why Bitcoin ATM, and why now.
BITCOIN ATM FUNCTIONALITY
At this moment in time, you can deposit fiat currency into Bitcoin ATM and receive bitcoins to your account. You can also send bitcoins and receive fiat currencies.
OWN YOUR OWN BITCOIN ATM'S – POSSIBLE BUSINESS VENTURE OF THE DECADE
Ever wish you had gotten involved in the early stages of the internet in 1994? Or bought gold in 2000? Or invested in Microsoft in the 80s? I see bitcoin and things like Bitcoin ATM as being the next big thing. And, this is not the first time I've recognized a massive paradigm shift as I did starting Canada's largest financial website in 1994… and became a gold advocate early in the last decade and starting up The Dollar Vigilante in 2009 with a focus on protecting from The End Of The Monetary System As We Know It (TEOTMSAWKI)… something that is in full flight as people in Cyprus can attest.
As stated, we want to roll out these ATMs as quickly as possible. Very obvious first locations would be in nations which are currently undergoing capital controls such as Argentina and Iran. But, even more than that, there are communities of freedom minded individuals sprouting up all over the world. A few bitcoin ATMs in the free state, New Hampshire, where thousands of freedom loving agorists have already moved is a no brainer. Other areas that make complete sense include places like Chile where many are now gravitating as well as Cafayate in Argentina where Doug Casey has already formed his freedom loving expat community.
I am convinced bitcoin will be the currency of the future… and all the attacks on it by governments and central banks shows they know it.
If you are interested in getting more info on becoming a franchisee in a particular area and installing a Bitcoin ATM in that region, please contact us at [email protected] As well, as things grow – and I expect it to be rapid – we may accept investors who are interested. You can contact us about that at the same email [email protected].