Paper Wallets Aim to Make Bitcoin More Accessible to the Masses

By August 14, 2014Featured Articles

Bitcoin ATM’s are a relatively new innovation that makes buying, selling and transferring the cryptocurrency between users easier than ever. With machines sprouting all over some of the busiest cities in the world (most recently the Las Vegas Strip) and more retailers accepting the digital currency (including Newegg), there’s never been a better time to be in the Bitcoin business. But as convenient as these Bitcoin ATM’s are, there is one limiting factor if you want to use one: you need a digital wallet.

Without a digital wallet to store your funds, Bitcoin ATM’s won’t allow you to make any transactions – the same holds true for making ecommerce purchases. Digital wallets are an important aspect of the cryptocurrency industry because they do a lot more than just store Bitcoin; they are also used to verify the owner’s identity. Without them, Bitcoin transactions are impossible.

Many people shy away from using Bitcoin because they believe digital wallets create privacy concerns. And while Bitcoin is widely considered to be an anonymous payment network, the digital wallet makes it the most transparent. Digital wallets are what make all Bitcoin transactions public, traceable and permanently stored in the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin addresses are the only information required to define where the cryptocurrency is allocated. All of these addresses are created privately by each user’s digital wallet but become public once they are used. And because users usually have to reveal their identity in order to receive services and goods, anyone can see the balance and transactions of any address.

Even though there is a lack of trust regarding the digital wallet, it’s still possible to remain anonymous when using one. Many Bitcoin users simply create multiple wallets for different purposes and generate a new address every time they make a transaction. Doing this prevents people from knowing how much Bitcoin you own and what you’re using it for because it’s impossible to determine how many addresses users own.

It’s easy to be dissuaded from using Bitcoin because the digital wallet seems a lot more complicated than it really is. In actuality it’s just a simple QR code that needs to be scanned whenever you want to transfer funds. For those people who are intimidated by the technology or just think digital wallets are a nuisance, there is now an alternative: paper wallets.

BitAccess, a Canadian company that’s trying to get a stronghold on the Bitcoin ATM industry, is the only player going out of their way to make transactions without owning a digital wallet possible. Thanks to their own proprietary transaction hardware, anyone who doesn’t own a digital wallet can still use a BitAccess ATM to buy, sell or send Bitcoin.

“BitAccess uses any Bitcoin wallet that people already love and use. Simply enter a Bitcoin address or scan a QR Code inside of the send function, specify the amount you want to send and the Bitcoin Teller Machine (BTM) automates all the transactions. As part of the buying process, the BTM will ask for you to scan the QR code for your wallet. This gives the BTM your Bitcoin address so that it knows where to send. If you don’t already have a Bitcoin wallet, the BTM can generate one for you [on paper] and the Bitcoins can be sent to that wallet instead. It’s that simple!”

 –BitAcces

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Until now, purchasing Bitcoin has been restricted to people with access to a digital wallet. The BitAccess ATM is a significant innovation in cryptocurrency transactions because, for the first time ever, a digital wallet will be created for you in the form of a piece of paper. BitAccess also demystifies the concept of a digital wallet and may convince those who are not so tech-savvy to invest in what could possibly be the future of how money is transacted.

BitAccess ATM’s are currently available in over 26 locations and the company claims they are shipping out machines every day. The company has also managed to install an ATM in almost every Canadian city with a population greater than 150,000 and has set their sights on expanding globally. If successful, BitAccess could be the company that is credited with expanding the liquidity of Bitcoin – something that is necessary for cryptocurrency to succeed.

Digital money is not only the future, it’s the present. Our bank accounts are already stored on computers and having access to Bitcoin on a piece of paper is the first step to treating cryptocurrency the same as “real” money. If we’re now able to carry around Bitcoin next to our cash, imagining a world where we can purchase goods with paper Bitcoin doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea. And when you consider BitAccess ATM’s are currently doing about $10,000 in transactions per day, it’s only a matter of time before everyone is walking around with Bitcoin in their pockets.

Do you think BitAccess ATM’s will convince people to use Bitcoin? Will Bitcoin be treated as “real” money if it’s on paper?

 

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