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General Sees Prague's Bitcoin ATM as Sales Springboard

Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) -- General Bytes s.r.o. wants to use Prague’s first Bitcoin automated teller machine as a springboard to expand abroad, seeking to make as many as 500 such ATMs a month, the company’s founder said.

“We aim to be competitive worldwide,” Karel Kyovsky, the company’s 34-year-old founder, said by phone today. “Our advantage is lower prices and the fact that the owner can operate terminals remotely.”

Prague-based General Bytes installed its ATM on Feb. 19 in the Czech capital’s Holesovice district. The machine, which Kyovsky said will cost less than $3,000, is operated by its own computer and is based on the Android operational system. Production should start in March and may reach its full capacity of 500 machines a month as soon as April, he said, adding that the plans hinge on orders.

General Bytes is among companies seeking to join the Bitcoin frenzy. Bitcoins were introduced in 2008 by a programmer or group of programmers under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins exist as software and can potentially cut banking transaction fees, making it an attractive option for trading via the Web or in stores.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lenka Ponikelska in Prague at lponikelska1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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