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The Bitcoin Bugle: February 5, 2014

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Jamie Dimon doesn't like it. Paul Singer doesn't get it. But everyone else does, according to a not totally unbiased observer, who is quoted in our new competitor for bitcoin news wrap-ups.

“I can say with confidence that 2014 will be the year of bitcoin on Wall Street,” Mr Silbert said during a conference call Tuesday to discuss themes surrounding the digital currency.

“I can’t tell you how many individuals I meet or meetings I go to where I’m asked to talk about bitcoin, but I can tell you it involves the most senior people at the some of the largest banks and funds here on Wall Street,” he said.

“While there is a lot skepticism on CNBC, some of the smartest and most well-known investors have invested in bitcoin via the Bitcoin Trust,” said Mr. Silbert, who made his name in setting up the private exchange SecondMarket. The Bitcoin Investment Trust is limited at this stage to sophisticated institutions and high-net-worth individuals.

He said there has been a “fantastic response” to the Trust and “we haven’t done any sales or marketing. And by the way, we’re hiring.”

Everyone includes ordinary Joes Down Under, or so hopes one Aussie motivational-speaker-cum-bitcoin-ATM-entrepreneur, who's racing to get them to the people while those people are still up for waiting in line at a coffee shop to use a cash machine that dispenses nothing, and before Australian regulators can ruin all the fun.

Melbourne-based Australian Bitcoin ATMs said it plans to buy machines from makers including Robocoin. A spokeswoman for the Australian company said it is in discussions about setting up ATMs at shopping centers, casinos, airports and other commercial centers. The rollout will begin in major commercial centers Sydney and Melbourne in February, followed by Adelaide, Brisbane, Perth and possibly other countries in the region, she said….

In Australia, because bitcoin ATMs will effectively be two-way vending machines, not part of a deposit-taking institution, no licenses are needed to operate them….

The Attorney-General’s Department, which oversees Australia’s anti-money laundering regime, is reviewing current regulations to see whether they could be expanded to cover new payment methods such as bitcoin. Australia’s central bank has previously cautioned on speculation in the currency, but said it doesn’t expect it to become a material problem because transaction volumes are relatively low.

Australian Bitcoin ATMs was founded by Jamie McIntyre, a motivational speaker and author. Private investors in the company include Daniel Roberts, who is also an investment director at Palisade Investment Partners in Sydney.

BitBeat: 2014 Is The Year of Bitcoin… on Wall Street, Silbert Says [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
BitBeat: Your Daily Bitcoin Round-Up [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]
Australian Firm Plans Bitcoin ATM Rollout [WSJ Digits blog]