A few weeks ago, 19-year-old Bitcoin entrepreneur Ludvig Oberg mentioned in a Swedish newspaper that soon Stockholm would welcome its first Bitcoin ATM. That time has come; ArcticStartup has been told that an ATM, run by Stockholm-based Bitcoin reseller Safello, will be launched on December 9.
The ATM is set to be revealed on Monday at 18.00 at STHLM TECH’s Meetup in the Hilton Slussen Auditorium before an audience of several hundred, and will be run using Safello’s services.
Oberg, who is also investor in Safello, said “The ATM is at our office and we are prospecting more suitable high traffic locations in central Stockholm to place the ATM on a more permanent basis.”
Safello has been mentioned on ArcticStartup before. As said then, they’re striving to make Bitcoin more widely accessible, as well as a legitimate alternative to fiat currencies. Says Frank Schuil, CEO of Safello, “Our aim is to bridge the gap between the traditional financial world and the Bitcoin community. This ATM is a big step in that direction.”
According to Schuil, the Bitcoin ATM works in 3 steps for Safello users:
1) The user displays their Bitcoin wallet QR code for the ATM to read;
2) The user inserts cash into the machine;
3) Bitcoin is sent to the user’s bitcoin wallet.
In order to comply with Swedish and international law, the ATM will not be available for use for those not registered with Safello. According to Schuil, this is a legal requirement in order to prevent money laundering: “Just imagine a normal bank ATM: it is always linked to your identity. With the modern ones you are even recorded during the transaction on camera. The equivalent of that is to verify yourself with Safello prior to using the ATM so we can ensure that no money is being laundered.”
The charges associated with using the ATM are in line with the fees through Safello’s website, says Schuil, although he adds that this may vary slightly to account for the additional of handling the cash deposits.
A PhD student and voracious reader based in Stockholm, Claire Ingram is interested in open innovation, co-creation, start-up funding, public policy and pictures of puppies on Reddit. You can contact her on Twitter @Claire_EBI.