The ATM works by accepting cash, even from S$2, or about $1.50, and issuing a receipt with a QR code. This code can be scanned by a mobile application, then Bitcoin is transferred to the customer’s account. For every Bitcoin purchase on this ATM, the customer has to pay a transaction fee of 5%.
“There are already about 30 points of sale, from food stalls to electronics stores, in Singapore that accept Bitcoin. The level of use of this virtual currency is increasing,” said Peter Peh Sik Wee, a manager of Tembusu. “A lot of people go to stores saying they want to pay with Bitcoin, but don’t know where to buy Bitcoin. Therefore, we want to fill this market,” said Mr. Wee.
With the above ATM, customers cannot change from Bitcoin to cash. However, the company Tembusu says that this function will be added soon. Tembusu aims to install around 100 such machines at retail locations in Singapore this year. It took Tembusu two months to build an ATM that sells Bitcoin. The machine is manufactured entirely in Singapore, with a total hardware cost of about S$3,000.
The Singapore Monetary Authority, which serves as the country’s central bank, does not regulate virtual currencies like Bitcoin. However, companies registered in Singapore that use Bitcoin in transactions for goods and services must pay tax on such transactions.