Bitcoin <-> Cash Converter Box


Bitcoin to Cash Converter Box


bitcoin arrowgold_dollar  gold_dollararrowbitcoin



(Please leave this page visible on the computer next to the cash box).  To help us try out bitcoins, I am putting up $200 ($100 cash and $100 worth of bitcoins) to make an honor-based converter box to be available at the Internet Archive Friday lunches.    Please donate a $1 conversion fee for each transaction to help cover loss and mistakes.  If this works, then maybe other offices or hacker spaces will do this.   Please leave this page visible after you finish.

Convert your bitcoins into dollars:


bitcoin arrowgold_dollar


Calculate the conversion (opens in new tab) and check to make sure we have enough cash and correct change in the cashbox (current limit is $100).  If not, email me.

Then use your bitcoin client to send address: 1Pt9TRJKeAW61aR1ELQpUZKdMaYXzkCTrnbitcoin-qrcode (you can send a skype from this machine with the address or use this webpage on your own machine).      Take your dollars from the cash box.  Please leave $1 for each transaction so it will cover for loss or mistakes.   Please leave this page visible after you finish.


Convert your dollars into bitcoins:


Calculate the conversion (opens in new tab) amount for the dollars you want to convert and make sure it is under $100 (our current limit).  Please subtract $1 from the amount you want to covert as a conversion fee to cover loss or mistakes.    For more than $100 maybe think of using coinbase.

Then use the Bitcoin-qt application on the computer (right hand one of the displays in the Internet Archive library).   Make sure it has enough coins, please email me if not.   Skype your bitcoin address to this machine (bitcoinconverter).  Use the Send Coins button on the application window, and send yourself the coins.

Please leave this page visible after you finish.


If you want to do this, this is the cashbox we got:








23 thoughts on “Bitcoin <-> Cash Converter Box

  1. Anonymous

    Call me a pessimist but I know humans. This will work the first week just fine. Then word gets out and the second week and … it’s gone.

    But I wonder which will disappear first.

    So one person buys a $100 worth and there is then $200 cash just sitting there.

    Good luck with that.

    1. brewster Post author

      I guess I would take a bet on that, being more optomistic. How about a 5 bitcoin cent bet that the cashbox will not be substantially swiped in the next couple of months. maybe substantially would mean that 25% of its cash would not disappear unaccounted for.

      1. Bojan

        It won’t be swiped inside the Internet Archive’s offices most probably, but in the real world, it wouldn’t last a minute! I’m rather surprised that given all the wizards you folks have access to, such a crude solution is tested… 🙁

        1. brewster Post author

          Maybe, but easy to test. I know of one hacker space that is setting one up. In general, I have found individuals to be trustworthy especially if they are trusted– people seem to have assumed worse and build locks into more things than necessary.

          But it seems that one of the premises of bitcoin is that it can withstand attack, and therefore there is some sport around finding flaws in it. This is helping make the system more robust in its early stages. Those I talk to know it is a bit experiment.


          1. Melpomene

            “I have found individuals to be trustworthy especially if they are trusted” – precisely. In Sweden it is not uncommon to see shops (farms, churches etc) where there is no staff just the goods and a box to put money in. It works just fine.

        2. Sven Slootweg

          Actually, there’s been an art project in the Netherlands where a box was put on the wall in a few places, with a note saying “if you have something extra, leave something… if you need something extra, take something” (refering to money). This worked just fine.

          In many smaller towns in the Netherlands, it’s also very common to just put ‘merchandise’ such as pumpkins in front of a house with a note stating the price, and a cup or box for the money. This also works fine in the majority of the cases.

          I think you’re seriously underestimating the trustworthiness of people.

          1. brewster Post author

            I agree. Trust is easy to lose, and hard to gain. The economic cost of losing trust is very large (lawyers, fences, pre-negotiated contracts).

            Bitcoin is designed to work in a no-trust environment, which is helpful, but boy I don’t want to live that way.


          2. Ben Daniel

            The problem is that it only takes one bad egg to ruin it for everyone. In small rural areas, you not only have a much smaller population and therefore a smaller chance of someone being that bad egg, you also have the type of people who look out for everyone else out of necessity, and because everyone just about knows everyone else – not to mention that rural folks are largely self-reliant. In an urban setting, it’s much easier to be anonymous and you have a much higher sense of entitlement among the population. In a big city, the odds are MUCH greater that someone is going to come around and say, “I need this, so I’ll just take it.”

          3. sean

            Ditto in the UK. I live in the countryside and every other farm has an honesty box outside where you can help yourself to goods and leave the cash in a box.

  2. Robert D. Martin

    I have been hoping that initiatives like BitCoin would eventually leave the so-called Universal Banks of the world sitting on their (worthless) multi-multi-multi-Quadrillions of worthlessness and leaving them therefore to utterly fail to the benefit of all mankind.

    Is BitCoin instead going the route of alotting a value, any value at all to all that worthlessness spoonfed to us by the universal banks? 8/

    1. Bojan

      I really didn’t think it worthless to be earning an allowance by delivering newspapers at 6am as a kid! Nor did I think it worthless to be earning more than PhDs at the turn of Y2K because they told me I was wasting my time “playing with Linux” instead of focusing on my “school work”. 🙂 Money is the most wonderful of inventions in this world, BitCoin will only improve on that concept!

  3. Panopticon

    As the fabled BOXof Pandora, the hand of the Market will become visible through the opening of your BOX of BITCOIN, Providence provides proof of pristine permutations of paid patronage pulverising ‘public’ pestilence.Let us pray: I will cloath me with ye armour of Salvation in ye strength of ye highest, Ancor Amacor Amides Theodonias Anitor, That my desired End may be Efected Through ye strength Adonay To whome ye praise and glory will forever & ever belong. Amen.
    The fiat demons of the bank of the Centre wither when exposed to holy silver, just as OBAMA’s devils boarded up Fort Knox to prevent righteousness escaping to the masses.
    Bless your truth!

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  9. New York

    The device in that picture would work incredibly well in New York City. Every subway should have them and they should be scattered throughout the the 5 boroughs. I know this would work well in NYC.

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