Quadriga CX plans to install 30 Bitcoin ATMs

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      A local startup wants to place Bitcoin ATMs in dozens of businesses in the Vancouver area.

      Gastown-based Quadriga CX has ordered 30 ATMs from Project Skyhook, and it’s offering to install them in busy stores and restaurants at no cost to their owners.

      “Just having one of these in your restaurant or venue, it’s going to bring in a lot of those younger, technical-savvy, future-thinking people,” Aaron Vaithilingam, office manager for Quadriga CX, told the Georgia Straight. “You want those kind of people coming into your business because they might be good future customers. Having one of these in your business shows you’re advancing and progressive thinking.”

      Vaithilingam was interviewed at the Crypto Block Party, which took place on Sunday (June 15) as part of Car Free Day Vancouver’s Main Street festival. The event also featured representatives of the Bitcoin Co-op, Decentral.Bangtown, and Newnote Financial Corp.

      (Update [June 20]: Vaithilingam emailed the Straight to clarify that Quadriga CX isn't sure if all 30 ATMs will be installed in the Vancouver area. Some of the ATMs will likely be placed in other Canadian cities.)

      Quadriga CX plans to charge a three percent transaction fee on its Skyhook ATMs, which are compact and allow users to buy bitcoins with Canadian dollars. Half of the commission will go to the host business and the other half to Quadriga CX.

      On their Portland-based manufacturer’s website, Skyhook ATMs sell for US$999 each. According to Vaithilingam, Quadriga CX has bought all of Skyhook’s available Canadian models for the coming months.

      “These Skyhooks have really opened the door,” Vaithilingam said. “I think this could help it go mainstream. Just people seeing it and seeing Bitcoin, people will talk about it.”

      A Skyhook Bitcoin ATM sits next to a much larger Lamassu ATM.
      Stephen Hui

      Quadriga CX brought Lamassu and Skyhook ATMs to the Crypto Block Party, but only the former was working. The company’s office was the second place in Vancouver to install a Bitcoin ATM, and now there are at least five spots in the city hosting these machines (with another arriving in Burnaby).

      Vaithilingam said the goal of placing the Skyhook ATMs is to get more people using Quadriga CX’s online currency exchange. The exchange allows users to trade bitcoins for Canadian dollars, U.S. dollars, and gold, and vice versa, and offers a variety of funding and withdrawal options.

      This afternoon (June 16), one bitcoin was trading for $648 (Canadian) on Quadriga CX.

      Vaithilingam noted that using Bitcoin allows people to avoid bank fees. He added that the cryptocurrency is getting easier to use everyday.

      “Bitcoin is really for the people that want to control their money themselves and control their future themselves,” Vaithilingam said.




      Jun 17, 2014 at 11:35am

      Why would you want to buy bitcoins with canadian dollars - you already have canadian dollars. Bitcoins are only accepted in a closed insular little world. Let me put it this way - if bitcoins are so good, why is the 3% transaction fee in canadian dollars and not bitcoins??????

      blah back

      Jun 17, 2014 at 12:06pm

      Its the chicken and the egg. Bitcoins are only accepted by a small number of businesses because few people hold them. Few people hold them because not many places sell them. Its not like you can go to a bank to get them. Sure you can get it online but who wants to go through the verification process and pay wiring charges, when it is more convenient to just get small amounts at an ATM. Bringing out ATMs lets more people buy them. When more people can buy them, more people can spend them and more businesses will take them. When more businesses take them, then more people will buy and use them. If Bitcoin becomes mainstream, there would be no reason for me to buy USD with CAD when I travel to the States since I could spend Bitcoins there. How convenient would that be?

      As to why are transaction fees in CAD? The fees are built into the exchange rate. It is the same process that Canadian banks or any Canadian money exchanges use when exchanging CAD to another currency like USD.


      Jun 17, 2014 at 2:22pm

      insular little world? It's as insular as the internet. It's true, it hasn't quite solved the interstellar currency problem, but hey, it's still in beta. :)


      Jun 17, 2014 at 10:15pm

      actually you can go to the bank and get bitcoins its called localbitcoins.com duh

      Jarrod Blah

      Jun 18, 2014 at 1:15am

      How is localbitcoins.com even a bank? That's like calling Bitstamp a bank. The last time I tried to use localbitcoins.com, 2 people cancelled on me because the price went up and they didn't want to sell at the agreed price by the time we were supposed to meet. I wanted to meet right away but they kept stalling or postponing the date until they came up with excuses that they ran out of bitcoins to sell. A 3rd guy ended up selling to me only $50 worth even though in his ad, he stated that he wanted to sell several hundred dollars. Many people didn't even bother replying to my multiple messages. Everyone there completely wasted my time. Meanwhile, the price of bitcoin went up about 20% during those few days. In the end, I had no choice but to buy at the ATM. So by trying to save money on ATM fees by using localbitcoins.com, it ended up costing me even more. I would have saved time and money had I just used the ATM in the first place. All this happened before I created an account on an exchange. The price was going up so fast that I couldn't wait for the time it takes to create account and get verified on an exchange.

      Jarrod Blah

      Jun 18, 2014 at 9:12am

      To add to my previous comment, I was clear to the localbitcoin sellers that even if the price was going up, I will still pay their asking price based on the market price at the time we meet. So it would have been something like market price + 3%. At the time, the price of bitcoin was going up so fast that the sellers knew they were better off cancelling the meeting, and holding on to them, and selling them next month. In hindsight, they were correct.

      Bitcoin Bank

      Jun 18, 2014 at 12:52pm

      localbitcoins.com is more like Craigslist. It helps people get together to trade bitcoins through personal ads. It has some Escrow-like features and a neat transaction service with SMS release verification code feature. But basically its a fancy Craigslist for Bitcoin. Sellers do back out of deals. But I'm sure buyers do as well. Hardly a bank. But feel free to put your bitcoins on their online wallet if you wish to use it as a bank.


      Jun 18, 2014 at 2:36pm

      yeah localbitcoins.com is the shiznit. no matter what any hater says.

      you can easily go into the bank, pay the persons account while the bitcoins are tied into escrow then they release the coins to your LBC wallet. easy as that.