When people from the United States or Canada come to Taipei, they often remark that it’s far more convenient than a city of comparable size in the West — largely because of the proliferation of convenience stores in the city. These stores are more than a mini-grocery store: you can use the free WiFi, buy high-speed train tickets, pay bills, and now, at one chain, purchase Bitcoin.
According to a report by Cryptocoins News Taiwan-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitoex has partnered with Family Mart to sell Bitcoins at its in-store kiosks. These kiosks, often used for things like buying train tickets or paying bills, now have a section called “BTC” that allows users to purchase the crypto coins with Taiwan dollars. Users are given a receipt, and once they pay at the cashier they get a text message with a link to arrange the transfer to their BTC wallet.
One Taiwan-based Bitcoin user posted a how-to video onto YouTube:
As you can see, the process is more complicated than using a Bitcoin ATM like the ones made by Lamassu.
Officially Bitcoin ATMs are banned in Taiwan as its financial regulator — the Financial Supervisory Commission — outlawed them in January of this year and banned merchants from accepting the cryptocurrency.
However, despite this ban one Bitcoin ATM exists in Taiwan at Taipei’s Gelateria Cosi o Cosi ice cream parlour in the city’s fashionable Dunhua district.
Spotted a Bitcoin ATM at Cosi Cosi cafe on Dunhua Rd in Taipei. pic.twitter.com/x8tEG5uXr7
— Sam Reynolds (@thesamreynolds) May 22, 2014
At this ATM users can only deposit currency in exchange for Bitcoin, and not the other way around which likely keeps it off the radar of authorities.