It seems a few arrests in Florida are not going to slow down progress over at LocalBitcoins. LocalBitcoins ATMs are now in production, and users will soon be able to make local trades without having to find a human counterparty. Their ATMs will allow anyone to buy or sell bitcoins, and the most amazing feature of these new devices might be that they don't require an Internet connection to function. Instead of connecting with your phone, the LocalBitcoins ATM will give a user a redeemable code for bitcoins that can be used on LocalBitcoins.com.
US Availability of LocalBitcoins ATM
It seems that it would be difficult for this kind of ATM to work in the United States. Bitcoin exchanges are currently required to register as money services businesses, and it would be difficult for an ATM to keep track of KYC and AML requirements without an Internet connection. I've reached out to LocalBitcoins for a response on this issue, and I'll post an update from them when it is available. Personally, I wouldn't blame LocalBitcoins for focusing on innovation rather than following the guidelines in one specific country.
LocalBitcoins ATM Features
In addition to the ability to work without an Internet connection, these ATMs will also be able to support over 100 different currencies. LocalBitcoins will charge a 1% fee on transactions, but the operator gets to specify the premiums and control their own profits. The first five ATMs will be installed in Helsinki, Finland, and the second wave of machines is expected to be a much larger batch. It should be noted that the devices are considered "experimental" for now, so LocalBitcoins is willing to offer a full refund in a situation where something goes wrong. Operators who purchase an ATM from the first round of sales will also receive a 70% discount on their next device when they're ready to make an upgrade.