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Bitcoin ATMs roll out as cryptocurrency faces hackers, regulation and volatility

Daily Ticker

As Bitcoin ATMs head for the United States and a popular personal finance app helps users track the digital currency, the cryptocurrency faces setbacks from hacking to regulation and volatility, threatening its move mainstream.

Robocoin announced Tuesday that the first Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. will come to Seattle and Austin later this month, according to Reuters. It's considered to be the latest move for the digital curreny toward the mainstream. The ATMs will allow users to buy and sell Bitcoin using a government-issued ID.

Late last month, the popular personal finance app Mint (from Intuit) made a deal with Bitcoin digital wallet company Coinbase to incorporate Bitcoin transactions into Mint. It became the first app to make this move.

Related: "Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street": Alex Payne

In the accompanying video, we speak to Intuit (INTU) Chief Executive Brad Smith about what was behind the decision. He told us quite simply that Bitcoin is "an increasingly growing alternative currency and our customers were asking for it."  Mint has 14 million users and aims to provide them with a comprehensive overview of their financial lives. Smith says while "no one can argue there is a large audience out there using this type of currency," a representative group of 940,000 Coinbase users were using Mint.

In addition, Overstock.com (OSTK), one of the biggest companies to accept Bitcoin, recently said nearly $1 million in purchases were made with Bitcoin, reports The New York Times.

Related: Bitcoin Could Go to $1 Million

These developments come amid a number of recent setbacks for the cryptocurrency.

Related: Bitcoin’s Price Swings Threaten Its Chance of Being a Real Currency

On Feb. 7, Mt. Gox, which had become the world's most dominant platform for exchanging Bitcoins, froze customer withdrawals, blaming the issues on a glitch in the software. Days later it said some users were exploiting a feature that allowed them to make fraudulent requests for payment.

The next day, other Bitcoin exchanges were hit with hacking attacks, leaving customers unable to withdraw their money and raising questions about security.

Volatility is nothing new to the Bitcoin story, but after peaking at more than $1,147 last December according to CoinDesk, the virtual currency was trading at less than $285 on Mt. Gox Tuesday morning.

Then there are regulatory questions. New York officials are hoping to propose a regulatory framework for virtual currency firms this year, while countries like Russia have banned Bitcoin outright.

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