Beijing Says “Ni Hao” To Bitcoin ATMs While Dish Teams Up With Coinbase

Robocoin, makers of a bitcoin ATM, have announced the availability of the first BTC ATM in Beijing. Based at the 798 Art Zone, an old factory in Beijing’s Chaoyang District, the ATM can be accessed by members only and, in order to avoid the ire of Chinese authorities, is being billed as a system for the trading of virtual goods.

The CEO of Robocoin Asia, Yao Lee and founder of the art space, Danny Deng, expect things to get better for Bitcoin in the next few months.

“Purchasing this ATM is not an easy decision, that’s why we keep it in a membership way and avoid calling it a financial service,” said Deng. “But from a long term view, I think Chinese government will gradually open its mind and find this new technology quite useful in international communication.”

“The Chinese government said nothing about the bitcoin ATM. Since bitcoin is not a currency in China, the ATM is just labeled as an automatic exchanging machine of virtual goods, and doesn’t deal with any bank account,” he said.

About 100 people have tried the system so far and it’s creating quite a buzz in the Chinese cryptocurrency community. Robocoin is one of the first bitcoin ATMs and the units are available in Austin, Las Vegas, as well as in twelve other countries.

Why an art space?

“We chose 798 Art Zone because it has a lot of avant-garde art galleries. A lot of international events are held there. I think this chemistry fits cryptocurrency well,” said Deng.

In related news, Dish TV has teamed up with Coinbase to offer Bitcoin bill payments. While I’m not sure how many will take them up on the offer, it’s clear “We Accept Bitcoin” is becoming the “We Accept PayPal” of the 21st century.