Bitcoin Suitcase Converts Spare Change Into Digital Currency

Hackers make it easier for people to get started using the virtual money.

Even though Bitcoin continues to gain popularity amongst hackers and other tech-enthusiasts, it’s can be difficult for everyone else to wrap their head around the concept, or at least how to get involved. A group at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas has tried to bridge that gap with a physical briefcase that converts loose change into Bitcoins.

Built by a hacker named Garbage and his group, TwoSixNine, they put together the device at a cost of $250 using a Raspberry Pi microcomputer and a portable 4G modem.

Using the case is simple, just insert your spare change, it will then check the current exchange rate on Bitcoin trading post Mt. Gox, and print out a QR code on a receipt. The code contains a cryptographic hash you can use to redeem your digital currency.

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A spare quarter may only be worth 0.00204327 BTC but what makes the case so accessible is that there’s no investment needed to start using Bitcoins. It’s a straight forward way to get your hands on some of the currency before deciding whether or not you want to make a bigger commitment.

Garbage and his crew are taking 15 percent of each transaction that goes through the case. They had no plans to make money with the idea, building the device simply to take part in a “Bitcoin party” that required solving a crypto puzzle.

As the currency gains popularity, there’s no doubt that it will become more accessible, but this case is a definite step towards bringing the digital currency into alignment with the physical world.

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Bitcoin

Images via The Verge

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