By Joe Gilmore
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) ATMs specializing in the cryptocurrency bitcoin are beginning to pop up across the country. Cryptocurrency allows users to pay for goods and services without physical currency and because it is decentralized it bypasses bank fees.
They look like ATMs and they work like ATMs.
Just don’t call them money machines, because these ATMs don’t give back cash, they give back bitcoin credits and a receipt.
ATMs specializing in the cryptocurrency bitcoin are beginning to pop up from Peoria to Mesa, Ariz., helping the technology move from the realm of computer programmers to the world of bank tellers.
“So far it’s been crypto-nerds and mathematicians and computer science geeks that have dominated the space and those people are absolutely needed in order to create the technology,” said Ryan Taylor, CEO of the Dash Core Group, which is behind the cryptocurrency called Dash.
“I think when you prioritize and educate merchants and consumers on the benefits, I think we’ll start to see more and more adoption happening,” Taylor said.
Coinsource, the largest bitcoin ATM network in the U.S., recently opened five new ATMs in the Valley.
Currently, the Arizona ATMs allow only one-way transactions –– offering bitcoin credits in return for a deposit –– but they are helping to justify cryptocurrency as a legitimate form of cash rather than a valueless virtual craze.
“We felt like there was a market there to tap into and I’m glad we did, it’s turned out to be a really good market so far, so were pretty excited about,” said Bobby Sharp, co-founder of Coinsource, the largest bitcoin ATM network in the country.
He said his company decided to expand operations to Arizona in part because of the state’s fertile tech market.
“I mean as far as tech is concerned, you guys are through the roof,” Sharp said. “There’s a lot of companies in the tech world, and in particular cryptocurrency, that are going into Arizona.”