Bitcoin ATMs are cropping up
If the ATMs are to help push bitcoin further into the mainstream, then more consumers may be seeing
machines, like the one that went live at Flat 128 in August. The machine, operated by PYC, lets users buy bitcoins with real cash.
By SYDNEY EMBER
NEW YORK — Welcome to the ATM of the future, where customers insert cash and leave with nothing.
A cashless society is still a long way off, but automated machines that turn traditional money into virtual currency are cropping up across the globe. The trend has come to New York — Flat 128, a retailer that sells British jewelry and accessories in the West Village, is home to the first such machine in Manhattan and is becoming a destination for bitcoin enthusiasts.
Yet this new bitcoin ATM is only a means for users to deposit cash and convert it to bitcoins for their accounts; It doesn’t currently have the ability to make withdrawals.
Still, virtual-currency supporters see the growing popularity of these machines as a milestone that will help bitcoin ATMs become as widespread as traditional bank ATMs. For that to happen, however, customers will have to get used to exchanging real money for digital code, which may be a bit unsettling for those accustomed to physical currency.