When I turned up yesterday afternoon at the Waves Coffee House on the corner of West Broadway Avenue and Spruce Street, I noticed the really large wrapped package standing about five feet tall under the big clock, but other than musing that it might be something like a new signboard, I ignored it.
When I next looked up from whatever I was doing, the package was unwrapped and stood revealed—it looked like a video-arcade game machine: dark blue and emblazoned with a large, stylized, letter B in a red circle.
It was a Bitcoin ATM and the fellow installing it was Drew Glover, with the company Bitnational.
Another place to buy and sell bitcoins! Whatever that means
Drew Glover’s business card referred to him as a “CBP”, a Certified Bitcoin Professional, one of two professional certifications offered by the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4).
Glover referred to the machine he was installing as Bitnational’s eighth, saying that 20 percent of Waves Coffee Houses now had a Bitcoin ATM (otherwise called a Bitcoin kiosk) and that more Waves locations would be getting one and that all locations of the western Canadian coffee chain would, at some point, be accepting bitcoins in payment.
The front page of Bitnational’s website declares that the company, together with the Waves Coffee House chain, is in the process of launching a network of Bitcoin ATMs across western Canada.
Glover promised that the new bitcoin ATM at the Broadway and Spruce Waves would be up and running some time tomorrow (March 6) and held out the prospect of educational coffee klatches to help familiarize people with the Bitcoin digital currency.
Including the new machine at Broadway and Spruce, Bitnational currently operates a total of eight Bitcoin ATMs: four in Alberta and four in Metro Vancouver.
Vancouver’s first Bitcoin ATM—indeed the world’s first, as Drew Glover reminded me—was installed in the Waves Coffee House at 900 Howe Street in October of 2013 by the Vancover-based company Bitcoiniacs.
In my March 5 conversation with Glover, I misconstrued “taking over” the Bitcoin ATM location at 900 Howe Street (currently owned and operated by Bitcoiniacs) with “taken over”.
Glover has clarified that there were plans in the works for the 900 Howe Street ATM to become Bitnational’s ninth location but says that complications have arisen and those plans are “temporarily protracted”.