Put In Pocket Change, Get Bitcoins


[gbg] put together a neat little project to get people familiarized with Bitcoins. A lot of techies know what Bitcoins are, but the impetus to download the Bitcoin client and start mining is a bit too much for some. [gbg] has a solution for this – a Bitcoin vending machine. Just dump your pocket change in the coin slot, and out comes a QR code that allows you to add Bitcoins to your wallet.

Inside this Bitcoin briefcase is a Raspberry Pi that connects to a local WiFi connection. Every five seconds, the Raspi looks at the current conversion rate of USD to Bitcoins. Once coins are deposited into the briefcase, a receipt complete with a scannable QR code is printed on a small thermal printer.

When [gbg] took this to the latest DEFCON, a lot of people were interested in the project and started shoveling change into the machine. So many people were interested that [gbg] and his compatriots are planning on turning this into a proper open-source device, complete with a bill reader and possibly an ASIC miner so the Pi can sell the coins it produces.

Check out the video below for some more info.

40 thoughts on “Put In Pocket Change, Get Bitcoins

      1. Bitcoins trade at about $100 per coin right now.

        That said, if the wifi signal were hacked, I don’t think the device would be able to generate a valid QR code for obtaining your coins.

        1. Assuming the device is connected using WPA2, it will take some effort to break that. After that you still need to break into the connection to the internet servers (which may be running over SSH or HTTPS). And even then your transfer will be limited by the wallet size, and/or sanity checks on the exchange rate. Surely, somebody with the necessary skills should be able to find a normal job that pays more.

        1. Yes, there are several exchanges where you can trade bitcoins for fiat money. The people who made the briefcase probably traded some of their own money to buy bitcoins first (or they mined some).

          1. That is, when those exchanges aren’t either down due to being “hacked” weekly, or closed due to Federal investigations, or operating with a six-hour delay… Bitcoin: up, Up, UP!

        1. I always get a chuckle out of how some extreme die-hard bitcoins complain how the USD (or other currency) is a fiat currency -> thus has not ‘real value’ -> thus bitcoin is ‘better’. however they always fail to see that bitcoin is also backed by vacuum and hope that it can exchanged for goods/services. personally, i put bitcoins in same category as collectibles and antiques.

          1. Obviously, both bitcoin and fiat currencies are not backed by anything except trust. The only difference is that fiat currencies are mature, inflationary and centrally governed, while bitcoin is distributed, deflationary, pretty much unregulated, and immature. Neither is perfect, but they can each fulfill a useful role. I wouldn’t want my paycheck in bitcoin, but I’ve done some odd jobs for people on the other side of the world for a couple of bitcoins, which is a much easier than getting payment in fiat or antiques.

    1. Ah yes…. another bitcoin hater.

      Lets see.. are you a banker? Interests in Visa or Mastercard?
      Are you a government employee?

      Or do you just hate freedom and people’s rights to the wealth they generate?

      You list several bad uses that people “have” (although im sure not as in abundance as the propaganda would lead everyone to believe) used bitcoins for. This I won’t deny.

      BUT there are ton’s of places that accept bitcoins and users and businesses are able to accept bitcoins without having to “apply” to be able to recieve them from some criminal corporation..

      In return.. Governemnts and criminal Corporations are unable to “steal” your entire lifesavings from you like the criminal government of cypress just recently done..

      With one stroke from a criminal politician’s pen, your entire life savings as a matter of law is no longer yours..

      Bitcoins are a way of saying.. “THIS IS MINE AND YOU CAN NOT FORCE THEM OUT OF MY HANDS!”

      Which leads us back to you.. and why people like you make these comments…

      You want that money.. You want your criminal corporations and criminal politicians to have the ability to loot that money from people, without consent, violently if necessary..

      There really is no other alternative explanation of your comments.

      “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” –Thomas Jefferson, 1802.

      Thomas Jefferson proves to be more far more perceptive than “Miss Leo”.

      1. You’re right, your angry, mis-spelled rant has brought me round to your way of thinking. Wouldn’t want the goons on Cypress Hill stealing my paycheck cos they were high, etc etc. They can take my money off my cold, dead, hard drive!

        1. Yeah but so does an electric heater, at a much greater rate. Just throw away your hairdryer, plenty of order still left in the Universe.

          Hopefully as technology gets cleverer, we’ll use up the tiny allocation of order we have at a slower rate. Meanwhile the Universe is annihilating galaxies and we don’t even see it.

    2. Slim jims, drugs, and child porn? Gyft.com sells giftcards for a pretty wide selection of retailers, including Amazon, Sears, Staples, Toys R Us, and even a bunch of restaurants. Humblebundle.com accepts bitcoins for their game bundles. Individuals sell a variety of odds and ends (not including any of the things you mentioned) on Bitmit.net. Independently owned brick-and-mortar businesses are using Bitpay as a payment processor for bitcoins.

      Bitcoin is far from a black-market currency.

  1. I think a chicken vending machine would be even better. There’s no internet butt-hurt over whether chickens have value, most people want chicken and/or eggs in some form, they’re self-replicating, thus your investment grows in value at a better rate than most paper investments.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.