Since bitcoin ATMs don’t actually do what ATMs are there to do—you know, give you money—and in fact exist to do the opposite—take your money and turn it into some 0s and 1s that some people call a currency—why should you have to wait in line for it at the coffee shop? Why shouldn’t you just put it the same place you spend the rest of your money: on your iPhone?
Enter Coinsafe, which pitches itself to merchants as a way to “turn your phone into a Bitcoin ATM….”
That allows them to enter into exchange deals with walk-in customers seeking to swap cash for bitcoins or vice versa. The app gives the storeowner control over the price spread between the selling and buying sides of the operation, which means the merchant becomes a de facto currency broker.
Think that doesn’t sound like a great idea? At least it’s better than the existing bitcoin dating/serial-killer/drug-dealing service.
For individual bitcoin users, the service could be as an alternative to Local Bitcoins, the online meetup service through which strangers agree to meet and exchange cash for bitcoins in person.
BitBeat: Phone-Based ATM App Foresees Multiple Mini Bitcoin Exchanges [WSJ MoneyBeat blog]