25/08/14 18:53 CET
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Hungary has become the latest country to get a cash machine or ATM for bitcoins.
It has been installed in a bar in central Budapest, the capital.
You feed Hungarian forints in then electronically download the digital currency.
In the future you will be able to reverse the process and exchange bitcoins for forints.
The company that installed the machine has big plans and believes it will have many fans.
Bitcoin ATM operator Barnabás Debreczen told euronews: “This is just the first step, right now of course only a few people are interested in it, but this kind of first steps can help Bitcoin to be a common and friendly thing which can be used by the taxi driver, the policeman and even my mum.”
Hungary’s central bank has warned about the risks of virtual currency, but István Varga, a former central bank official who was on hand for the machine’s unveiling, is a convert. He said: “This is how it starts, and in the end this will grow throughout society and become a natural part of our everyday lives.”
Though the jury is still out on the long term viability of the electronic currency, there are now around 20 bitcoin dispensers in European countries as its supporters talk it up as a symbol of economic freedom and the future of trade.
Our reporter in Budapest, Andrea Hajagos, concluded: “There is a sign here to show that there is a Bitcoin dispenser inside, and another sticker telling you that Bitcoin is accepted here for purchases. The people who’ve installed this machine have as their goal many more such signs appearing.”
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