Diamond Circle Launches First Cashless Bitcoin ATM

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Bitcoin ATM maker Diamond Circle has installed its first kiosk at a cafe in Queensland, Australia.

The new unit is located at the Bluff Cafe at Burleigh Heights, by the Gold Coast’s Surfers Paradise. The company describes its machine, unveiled earlier this year, as the first “cashless bitcoin ATM” kiosk to hit the market.

The Diamond Circle ATM works in conjunction with its bitcoin debit cards, which were announced last May. Despite their name, these cards are only compatible with the company’s machines, however, and can not be used as debit cards in the traditional sense.

Cashless top-up

The system works by dispensing Diamond Circle cards, which cost $5 and each contain a bitcoin wallet. As well as dispensing cards, the ATMs can also be used to top up and check users’ bitcoin balances.

The company says its debit cards are linked to users’ credit cards at local exchange rates, allowing for instant bitcoin purchases, adding in a statement:

“Unlike other bitcoin ATMs, the machine only supports Visa and MasterCard for the purchase of bitcoin and cards thus, reducing security threats, the cost of holding cash, thus increasing margins and ongoing residual payments to distributors and owner/operators.”

The platform is also designed to reduce the risk of chargebacks and it can comply with different AML/KYC requirements depending on the jurisdiction.

NFC functionality, SMS remittances

The company is also working on a new feature that could be used to perform remittances, as well as new NFC enabled point of sale systems.

Diamond Circle’s remittance function will allow users to send bitcoins to anyone via an SMS text message. Diamond Circle said the cards feature Apple SDK compatibility and at some point they could also use NFC on Apple devices. For the time being Apple’s NFC functionality is limited to Apple Pay.

The company added that it will shortly begin work on new point of sale (POS) applications which will allow bitcoin purchases and balance checking from a wide range of NFC enabled devices, including Android phones, online gateways and corporate wallets.

The company also announced plans to sell card readers which can be used at gas stations, parking meters, mass transit services, taxi cabs and by the local merchants.

Australia’s love of bitcoin

Of course, this is not the first bitcoin ATM in Australia. A number of establishments have installed similar machines this year and as many as a third of Lamassu’s ATMs shipping in late 2013 were headed to Australia.

CoinDesk’s Bitcoin ATM Map currently lists 15 active bitcoin ATMs in the country and nearly all of them are located in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane.

With a population of 23 million, Australia currently boasts more ATMs than Britain, France, Germany and all other countries except Canada and the US.