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Bitcoin Kinetics

Bitcoin Kinetics is an engineering company that specialises in creating open source hardware payments systems, which allow machines to accept payment in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The company is producing a range of products, from vending machines to laundrette washing machines, which replace old coin-slot technology with their own open source 'Bit Switch' technology.

The company is owned by General Bitcoin, which also owns a number of other cryptocurrency related start-ups including:

  • The Bitcoin Academy: Educational resources for teaching about Bitcoin.
  • Bit Congress:Building a blockchain based decentralized voting system, based on the Ethereum protocol and using a new cryptocurrency called 'Vote Coin'.
  • Bitcoin Petroleum:A planned future exchange for trading oil contracts and futures, as well as carbon credits, for Bitcoin.
  • Cryptobank: A bricks and mortar digital currency exchange.
  • Coincanna:Crypto Funding for the cannabis industry.
  • Petscoin:”Bringing crypto currency to the world of animals.”

The company is currently registered in the U.S. state of California as an 'S-Corporation', but has ambitious future plans to become one of the first wave of 'Decentralized Autonomous Organisations' – businesses 'run by smart contracts programmed by the consensus of the community' – based on the Ethereum protocol.

Bitcoin Kinetics has sought funding through the Cryptostocks website, where you can buy shares in the firm denominated in Bitcoin.

The Bit Switch

The Bit Switch uses a relay attached to low cost microcontrollers such as the Raspberry Pi or Arduino, along with the company's own payment processing software, to accept digital payments and activate the machine. Interested buyers can purchase ready made machines from the company, or simply purchase the Bit Switch separately and fit it to their own machines. Both the hardware and the software for the Bit Switch are open source.

The software for the Bit Switch uses off-blockchain transactions in order to allow for almost instant purchases (10 seconds) without having to wait for a transaction to be confirmed in the usual way. The design of the hardware itself allows machines using the Bit Switch to mine Bitcoins as an extra source of revenue in addition to their usual functions.

The company believes that digital currency payments offer a range of advantages over coin payments. The owners of machines using the Bit Switch do not need to keep collecting and refilling machines with large amounts of change, for a start. They are also likely to be less susceptible to theft, as no physical currency will be held within the machine or on the businesses premises.

Products being developed by Bitcoin Kinetics to incorporate the Bit Switch include:

  • BitWasher: A washing machine for laundrettes. Two models are already available for pre-order, and are expected to start shipping in September 2014.
  • BitTicket: An automated ticket kiosk machine, available for pre-order and expected to ship in early 2015.
  • BitVender: A vending machine which has reached the working prototype stage.
  • BitPumper: A 'pay at the pump' system for petrol (gas) stations, already available as a DIY installation kit.
  • BitGamer: A range of arcade gaming machines which are still under development at the time of writing.

There are also future plans for pool tables, entry gates, music boxes and car ignition systems based on the Bit Switch, as well as an open source hardware wallet called 'Kinesis'.

Pictures

The Bit Switch Hardware

i.imgur.com_v9rpbyh.jpg

BitWasher Model A

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