Jeff Berwick, founder of StockHouse.com and CEO of TDV Media, announced Monday his plans to open the world’s first Bitcoin ATM in Cyprus, citing the ongoing bank bailout, bank closures and capital controls now being pushed in that country. According to Berwick, who sold Stockhouse last decade which at the peak of the tech bubble was worth $240 million, Bitcoin ATM has the world’s first software enabling a two-way, automated Bitcoin market.
Last Friday, Cyprus announced a new bailout all inclusive of a levy of upwards of 15.26% on all deposits. On Monday, the banks shut down until Thursday, but by week’s end uncertainty shrouded the country as to when their ATMs would be back online. Over the weekend, it was announced the bank’s second biggest bank would be shutdown.
Interest in Bitcoin has soared, especially in southern Europe. As Yahoo! reports, downloads of Bitcoin-related apps started rising in Spain over the weekend. For instance, Bitcoin Gold spiked in the Spanish iPhone Finance category from 498 to 72, while another app called Bitcoin Ticket zoomed from 526-52 in just one day. Leading service, Bitcoin App, jumped from 194 to 151 from Friday and Sunday while Spaniards took notice of Cyprus.
Fox Business news wrote that Bitcoin “is emerging as an apparent winner from the drama surrounding the bailout of tiny Cyprus.”
With Bitcoin ATM, Jeff Berwick announced plans to place a bi-directional (bitcoin for cash, cash for bitcoin) dispenser as part of the launch of his latest venture. Over the weekend, he hinted at his venture in his blog for the Dollar Vigilante:
"I've even recently relayed to TDV subscribers that I see bitcoin-related businesses as being the next multi-billion dollar (or multi-million bitcoin) businesses and will be relaying many of my business ideas to them over the coming weeks.
And, to top it off, we have already started some game-changing bitcoin businesses that I think will shock the world. I'll be announcing one of them, related to the crisis in Cyprus, on Monday here at the TDV blog."
According to the website, Bitcoin ATM is seeking investments and licensees to bring their technology to a town or city near you. You can email the company directly at bitcoinatm(at)bitcoinatm(at)com.