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The Almighty Buck Idle

ATMs That Dispense Gold Bars Coming To America 482

Posted by samzenpus
from the leprechaun-industries dept.
tetrahedrassface writes "As the US economic woes continue unabated, a German company is bringing gold-bearing ATMs to Mainstreet America. The machines accept credit cards, and will dispense 1 gram, 5 gram, 10 gram and 1 ounce units, as well as various gold coins. The company hopes to install 35 bullion machines in the United States this year, and will hopefully have several hundred up and running by next year. The machines will be decorated like giant gold ingots and be over two meters tall. Physical gold has both pros and cons, but from a safety standpoint would it be fine to have a couple of ounces in your pocket while walking around the mall? The giant, gold-dispensing ATMs will monitor the market conditions for gold every 10 minutes in order to reflect spot price changes as they occur." We already covered similar machines installed in travel hubs across Germany.
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ATMs That Dispense Gold Bars Coming To America

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  • by operagost (62405) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:49AM (#33721372) Homepage Journal
    Meanwhile, Slashdot is bringing apostrophe abuse to America.
    • I'm just grateful it wasn't "ATM Machine's". I probably would have had an aneurysm. I already feel like I need a shower just from typing it for the sake of example.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I'm just grateful it wasn't "ATM Machine's". I probably would have had an aneurysm. I already feel like I need a shower just from typing it for the sake of example.

        Here, let me plug this cable into your VGA adapter. I will also need to plug this cable into your NIC Card. It also looks like your computer can use some additional DIMM modules.

        Just trying to help...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      For initialisms and abbreviations, an apostrophe is usually acceptable for the non-possessive plural but is generally now considered deprecated; it is more widely used where confusion may otherwise result: A's and B's.

  • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:49AM (#33721374)
    It would be nice to not have to haul that entire bag of 2,000 coins back to town. I might run into a random encounter before then...
  • by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:51AM (#33721394) Homepage

    I bet Glenn Beck is pissed about this.

  • by GungaDan (195739) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:52AM (#33721396) Homepage

    will we win a trip to Glenn Beck's magical crazy factory?

  • 35 bullion? (Score:3, Funny)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:54AM (#33721418) Homepage Journal

    It's spelt billion.
    And 35 billion ATMs is rather much for a start-up, and more than current market demand...
    oh gawd, there will be more of these than McDonalds and Starbucks... ;)

  • by Supp0rtLinux (594509) <Supp0rtLinux@yahoo.com> on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @09:54AM (#33721422)
    "... will monitor the market conditions for gold every 10 minutes in order to reflect spot price changes as they occur... " So... all I have to do is hack the market price calculations, buy my gold for $10.00 an ounce, then sell it for $300 an ounce. I give these guys less than a year before they're hacked into bankruptcy. Incidentally, I thought when we went off the gold standard (and silver standard) that this sort of thing actually became illegal. Granted, I could be wrong... I haven't had my morning coffee yet...
    • by rlp (11898) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:00AM (#33721474)

      then sell it for $300 an ounce

      Uhhh, you haven't checked the price of gold in a while, have you?

    • by Millennium (2451)

      It was illegal for a time, but those laws were later repealed.

    • by suso (153703) * on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:03AM (#33721512) Homepage Journal

      I think it was only illegal until the 70s or so, then the market was flooded with people who had been secret hoarding gold from earlier.

      By the way, if you'd be willing to sell me your gold for $300 an ounce, then I'd be willing to buy it from you. In large quantities. Seriously.

      • by sjs132 (631745)

        If he's willing to sell at 300 an oz, I'd even by at small quantity.

      • You definitely missed his point:

        "Hack the machine to get it to sell for $10 er ounce, sell at $300 per ounce so that you can dump your ill gotten gold very quickly for 30 times what you spent."

        When it's effectively stolen gold, being able to dump it quickly is far more important than getting full market value out of it, just like any other stolen property.

      • by sjs132 (631745) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:20AM (#33721772) Homepage Journal

        Government did it once to force dollars into the market, it can do it again. What it can't ban is gold coinage. That is why even modern gold coins have a value of the countries currency stamped in it. So if they outlawed gold again, the "value" is stamped on the coin. That is the value that you would get back from he government if you were forced to turn it in.

        Lets see, a 50$ gold eagle (1oz) sells for 1368.+/- Currnt value of 1oz of gold on market is 1297 as of now. US Mint sells them at bullion price, so you'll never buy one for the $50 strike value. That is just a matter of semantics in case they ever recall them. You just gave the government $1318 profit.

        The other reason to have coin instead of bar is for "numismatic" value, so that even if US dollar is nothing the collection value of the coin would be worth something more than just the gold. (At least one would hope.)

        I understand Beck's POV on gold, but it is NOT for everyone (and he says so), and an ATM for it it more of a marketing twist than anything.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DavidTC (10147)

          What it can't ban is gold coinage.

          Because of the magical exception not allowing them to ban gold coinage. Oh, wait, that doesn't exist, that's just part of the Goldline scam to sell gold at 100% markup.

          'Oh, we're not selling gold bars, because we've invented a reason that the government might come take those. Take this gold coins instead.'...'Oh, did we forget to mention that, after all that talk of 'investment', that we were selling them at a huge markup, so gold would need to double or even triple in

    • by hey (83763)

      Except the machine takes a cut.
      (Or rather than company that owns the machine.)

  • Why don't they put up a giant sign labeled "Rob This Machine"?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ComaVN (325750)

      How is it diffferent from a regular ATM, apart from the loot being less liquid?

  • It is perfectly safe to walk around the mall with a few ounces of gold in your pocket, unless people know you have a few ounces of gold in your pocket, in which case you are about to be mugged. I like the idea of buying gold at a kiosk, it would make for a fun spur of the moment gift, but I'd be too afraid to be seen making a withdrawal to actually use it.
  • Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DurendalMac (736637) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:00AM (#33721478)
    Seriously, why? If people want to invest in gold, they're generally going to buy it in larger lots than this. What's the point of selling gold in a vending machine when no one is going to take a gold coin as currency? This seems to be a solution in search of a problem. Not to mention I fully expect these to become big, fat targets for thieves...
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by OzPeter (195038) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:05AM (#33721554)

      What's the point of selling gold in a vending machine when no one is going to take a gold coin as currency?

      The idea is to make money .. for the people who make the gold dispensing ATMs. Its nothing more than a capitalistic response to a fear based environment.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by tmosley (996283)
        You do know that there are gold dealers in this country, right? Eliminate the personnel cost, and the premiums will come down.

        I guess filling consumer demand while reducing consumer costs and making a profit is evil in your world. Might I suggest you move to North Korea? I guarantee no-one is making any evil profits there.
  • If memory serves, didn't the US government make the private ownership of gold illegal in times of severe crisis in the past?

    Don't they have a precedent for seizing precious metals from their citizenry, without recompense?

    • by tmosley (996283) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:17AM (#33721708)
      They did compensate people for seized gold. They just promptly devalued the dollars they paid for them with.

      And considering the massive failure that was the last gold seizure (they only got 500 tons total), and the fact that we aren't on a gold standard, so they can devalue the dollar just fine as is, there is no need and little likelihood of future seizure of gold. Your retirement accounts will probably be nationalized long before your gold is seized.
  • I've been playing Red Dead Redemption a lot. I've been dying for a chance to go to the store and barter for what I want with furs and gold pieces. I want to make the angry high school kid at Sonic take out his scales to measure the cost of my chili dog.
  • by Zouden (232738) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:05AM (#33721550)

    The company hopes to install 35 bullion machines in the United States this year

    To put that in perspective, that's over a hundred machines per person, or 3.3 machines per square foot of land. Talk about agressive expansion!

  • During the next Cyberman attack...
  • Allocating some portion of your assets to physical gold and silver is simply prudent, not useless.
  • Secure payment communications is old hat. I wonder how secure the pricing information is.
    You could hack the communication to the local vending machine or do some DNS hacking on the source to the upstream feed where it reads the actual market price.

    Set the price per ounce to 1/10 (1/100, 1/1000) of the actual market and you could make some pretty good money.

  • You trade your cash for gold at these [cnbc.com] ... then you go to Cash4Gold [cash4gold.com] and trade the gold for cash?

  • I've seen a lot of ATMs get stolen. It just takes a pickup truck, a crow bar, some chains and a couple of guys willing to take a risk.

    If they'll do it for cash, anyone want to bet the percentage of gold ATMs that get stolen will be a lot higher than the percentage of regular ATMs?

    • by Abcd1234 (188840)

      It just takes a pickup truck, a crow bar, some chains and a couple of guys willing to take a risk.

      I can only assume you've never weighed gold before. Good luck moving one of these things with anything but a forklift.

  • A 1 ounce gold bar is worth somewhere beyond $1,000 USD. Yet 1 ounce of gold is not very large in volume; I don't see people rushing out to buy these very small "bars" at an ATM in a public place.
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @10:43AM (#33722180) Homepage

    ...I'm not interested.

    All the goldbugs keep telling me that gold is money, regardless of what economists say or what governments decree. So if gold is money, why won't these machines work either way?

    Your choice, put in fiat money and get a gold bar, or put in a gold bar and get some crisp green U. S. of A. "Cyberbit Certificates" (or whatever it is that backs the currency nowadays).

    I'm sure the technical problems could be solved--it only accepts gold bars slabbed in polycarbonate with a barcode on them, or something. Methinks the real reason is that it would exposed the bid/asked spread.

  • You can't eat gold. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:02AM (#33722526)

    Gold is only useful if you can hang on to it and survive the years between total collapse and the rebuilding of a new world.

    Generally, gold is seized by whatever autocrats and strong-men are vying for power in the interim. In any case, during the hungry years, nobody has any use for gold.

    But what's interesting this time around is that we're entering an age where canned goods are stable and good for years. We've never been through a societal collapse which has had access to high-quality, preserved goods.

    Whatever. Skill sets are more important in the long run. Can you farm or make useful things? What value do you personally hold? Do people like you?

    -FL

    • by justinlee37 (993373) on Tuesday September 28, 2010 @11:48AM (#33723244)

      Gold is useful if the currency of your country collapses in value prior to your purchase and the world economy is still strong enough to buy your gold.

      Economic collapse is not an all-or-nothing event, sometimes the economy in a limited number of countries collapses. An example of this would be Argentina in 1999.

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