According to Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley, the bitcoin ATM is still seen as little more than a demonstration model, rather than the first of a wave of such machines in a country with an openly virtual currency-antagonist central bank.
“They’re really treating this as, ‘let’s go out, let’s introduce this, let’s show how compliant it can be, and we’ll see what happens,’” Mr. Kelley said.
The ATM is not not the first in China, as a one-way model was installed by BTC China at Shanghai’s Zhangjiang technology park in April.
Small-scale moves like these may not contribute to massive spikes in bitcoin price from Chinese demand, but they do keep bitcoin on the public radar in the country. Given that the People’s Bank of China has effectively removed bitcoin-related businesses from the country’s banking system, cash-to-BTC services like ATMs might help to keep the fires burning for China’s bitcoin faithful. The report noted that many in China believe that the government in Beijing wants to “control, not kill, the growth of cryptocurrencies.”