SA gets first Bitcoin vending machine

South Africa has its first Bitcoin vending machine, allowing users the ability to get Bitcoin for their rands instantly. By Regardt van der Berg.


South Africa’s first Bitcoin vending machine has been installed, giving users the ability to get Bitcoin in exchange for rand.

The difference between a Bitcoin ATM and a Bitcoin vending machine is that the former dispenses cash for Bitcoins, while the latter provides Bitcoin in exchange for a local currency.

Rolf Deppe and his business partner, Monre Botes, run the Lamassu Bitcoin vending machine through their business Tremendis Learning.

“We decided in February that we wanted to bring a Bitcoin vending machine to South Africa. At the time there were about 100 around the world, but none on the African continent. We wanted to push the envelope, so we ordered one, and three months later it landed on our shores.”

The vending machine is situated in Kyalami, north of Johannesburg, at a business called Metroman. It’s a friend’s shop, which opened on 1 June, says Deppe.

Deppe is an Android and iOS application developer and is writing apps that can be used with Bitcoin. He says he is also considering establishing a Bitcoin exchange in South Africa. That won’t be a first, though.

The use of Bitcoin by South African vendors is still very limited, and the idea for now is to educate merchants about Bitcoin.

Deppe hopes he can encourage more businesses to adopt the virtual currency. The company also hopes to become the “go-to guys” for merchants wanting to accept Bitcoin.


The Lamassu vending machine earns Tremendis Learning 6% of the value of each transaction, but considering the cost of the machine, it won’t be recouping its investment. It cost them about R75 000, including importation fees.

“We are also looking at putting machines in Pretoria and Cape Town, but we will use a much cheaper model that costs about R10 000.”

To get Bitcoin at the Bitcoin vending machine, consumers need to have a Bitcoin wallet installed on their smartphone. There are numerous apps available, but options include Blockchain for iOS and Mycelium for Android. These apps generate a QR code that the Bitcoin vending machine can read and use to deposit the purchased virtual currency. Given the exchange rate at the time of publication, a single Bitcoin will set you back the princely sum of R4 600.  — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media

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  • Unskinnybob

    Pouring petrol over R5000 and setting it alight is probably more entertaining and a better long term investment.

  • AnRkey

    Then you don’t know anything about Bitcoin.

  • herman

    there are a lot of overnight millionaires who will disagree with you.

  • herman

    i’m not sure where you get a price of R4600 per coin from, current price is around R5500. the last time the price was anywhere near that was in May. here’s a nice price history graph

  • K Solomon

    ZioNazi Hasbara troll out to defend the Zi0-central-banking cabal — eat pork and die biatch.

  • Sonya Kuhnel

    Great-will try it out if I’m in Jo-burg in the near future- well done!

  • Haroun Kola

    A addition to the bitcoin ecosystem in Jozi and South Africa…

  • kipkuch

    Great stuff! Despite criticism and a lot of volatility in the recent past, bitcoin is still going strong. This is the future folks!

  • Unskinnybob

    Look at the TREMENDOUS growth over the past year. Yeah – I know nothing.

  • Unskinnybob

    Yes – burning currency is the definition of defending ZIO-CENTRAL-BANKING.

    I need some of the sith you’re smoking bru.

  • Unskinnybob

    There are get rich quick millionaires everywhere and they are far outnumbered by the insolvent sheep who blindly followed them.

  • Spaceship Dmitri

    SA could have meant South America

  • AnRkey

    Step back and look at it over 3 years.

  • katleho

    i like the idea of having our 1st bitcoin atm machine but not on R4600/coin.this is like daylight robbery.

  • Zac Van Zyl

    You don’t understand the technology, you don’t need to buy one full bitcoin at a time. You can buy micro-bitcoins in whatever denominations you choose. You can even buy two rands worth of bitcoins if you choose to do so.

  • Unskinnybob

    Please come back and share some more investment advice. 3 year oulook is looking good. Not.

  • AnRkey