This winter holiday I had a chance to use another one of Hong Kong’s several Bitcoin ATMs. Previously, I’ve used ones in Mong Kok and Wan Chai, but until this month not the one near Central station.
While this particular ATM in the Shing Lee Shopping Arcade at 6 Wing Kut Street is a Lamassu brand, Bitcoin ATMs (there are also Litecoin and Ether ATMs now in Wan Chai) all work basically the same way. You must have a Bitcoin (or Litecoin or Ether) wallet on your mobile phone to use them, though.
- Press START on the screen.
- Call up your deposit address QR code on your mobile phone.
- Let the ATM scan the QR code.
- When it confirms the address (Double-check it!! – Some Android viruses can replace your Bitcoin wallet address with another.), insert fiat notes into the receiving slot. This ATMs accepts HKD100 and HKD500 notes.
- When you finishing inserting notes, confirm on the ATM screen. It will display a confirmation QR — a blockchain link.
- Deposits to your mobile wallet will not be instantaneous. It could take an hour for the Bitcoin to arrive. Don’t worry. It’ll come.
There is free WiFi provided in the shop.
Also note that no ID is required to use this ATM. You can only buy BTC here. The Mong Kok ATM can also sell BTC.
The Shing Lee building is approximately halfway between the Central and Sheung Wan MTR stations. Wing Kuk Street is an alley connecting Des Voeux Road Central and Queen’s Road Central; Shing Lee is closer to Queen’s Road Central, though.
One last thing, in case the directions are confusing. Hong Kong follows the British habit of referring to the street-level floor as the ground floor, and the floors above that are numbered. Americans, on the other hand, refer to the British ground floor as the first floor. Either way, go up one flight of stairs to reach the correct floor.
More details are available at the HKBitcoin website.
When I was there during the Chinese New Year, the arcade was nearly empty, and there is a guard at the stairway entrance, so there were no worries about security. Several of the other shops sell jade, collector coins and stamps, and watches, so the site is well chosen for safety. Even so, be careful about displaying your cash.