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Canada to get world's first Bitcoin ATM next week

A Vancouver coffee shop will see the first of five ATMs expected in major Canadian cities.

Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin fans, prepare your passports. If you want to be among the first to use a Bitcoin ATM, head to Canada.

What's being billed as the world's first Bitcoin ATM is set to enter service next week in Vancouver, according to local operator and broker Bitcoiniacs and Nevada-based manufacturer Robocoin.

The $18,500 ATM will debut in downtown coffee shop Waves as the first of five Bitcoin machines that will be deployed across the country.

They'll trade the increasingly popular digital currency for Canadian dollars and vice versa, with a CAD $3,000 daily limit ($2,870) for each user.

The ATMs will use palm scans to identify users and enforce the limit, which is also designed to prevent problems with anti-money-laundering laws.

Users can deposit Canadian cash in the machines and it's then exchanged on Canada's VirtEx for Bitcoins. The corresponding credit is in recorded in the user's online Bitcoin wallet. Similarly, online Bitcoins can be used to purchase Canadian cash from the machines.

The four other ATMs are slated for launch in December, and may be deployed to Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa.

"Basically, it just makes it easier for people to buy and sell Bitcoins and hopefully will drive the adoption of Bitcoin, and make it more accessible for people," Bitcoiniacs co-founder Mitchell Demeter told CBC News.

The Waves shop on Howe Street already hosts CoinFest meetings of Bitcoin enthusiasts.

Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley has cited U.S. regulations as a barrier to ATMs being set up south of the 49th parallel. A U.S. federal judge ruled in August that Bitcoins are "a currency or form of money" and subject to U.S. laws.

Are you psyched about using Bitcoin ATMs? Does the promo vid below make you any more psyched?