SINGAPORE (FEBRUARY 27, 2014) (REUTERS) - Tembusu Terminals launched Singapore's first ever vending machine for buying bitcoins on Thursday (February 27), just days after a Tokyo exchange for the virtual currency was shut down amid concerns about possible theft.
"With the bitcoin Vending Machine we are also opening up (bitcoins) for average people to start using these services."
"I still don't know everything about bitcoin, but I've been reading about it for a few months. Bitcoins are now in my phone, So the best way for you to take my bitcoin is to steal my phone, same way you do with anything. So bitcoin itself, I don't think it's unsecure."
Tembusu is talking with other retailers that accept the virtual currency to set up more vending machines on other premises.
Tembusu's announcement comes after Singapore's finance minister said that the central bank didn't recognise bitcoins as legal tender and had cautioned individuals about the use of virtual currencies.
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, abruptly stopped trading on Tuesday (February 25) and its chief executive said the business was at "a turning point," sparking concerns about the future of the unregulated virtual currency.
Sim Eih Yang, an assistant IT manager, was wary of using the Bitcoin Vending Machine.
"Unless it gives those benefits that the current currency is not able to provide then, I will not really go for it," he said.
The digital currency has caught the eye of regulators concerned with consumer protections and bitcoin's use in money laundering.
Critics of the exchange, from rivals to burned investors, said the digital marketplace operator had long been lax over its security. Investors in bitcoin, who have endured a volatile ride in the value of the unregulated cyber-tender, said they still had faith in the currency despite the problems at Mt. Gox.