First U.S. Bitcoin Vending Machine Installed in New Mexico Cigar Shop

Robocoin revealed on Tuesday that later this month the first automated teller machines in the U.S. will be installed, that would probably become the latest step into the mainstream for the digital currency. “This is my current contribution to advancing Bitcoin into the mainstream,” Eric Stromberg, owner of the Albuquerque Bitcoin vending machine, told reporters. […]

The first automated teller machines in the United States will be installed later in this month. Photo: Antana/Flickr

Robocoin revealed on Tuesday that later this month the first automated teller machines in the U.S. will be installed, that would probably become the latest step into the mainstream for the digital currency.

“This is my current contribution to advancing Bitcoin into the mainstream,” Eric Stromberg, owner of the Albuquerque Bitcoin vending machine, told reporters.

According to reports, the new kiosks that will let users to buy and exchange digital currency, will be installed in Seattle, and Austin, Texas, are similar to ATMs but they will feature inbuilt scanners designed to read government-issued identification.

The new device is designed to allow people to swap bitcoin for cash, or deposit cash to buy more bitcoin by transferring funds to or from a virtual wallet on their smartphones, explains Reuters.

Digital currency Bitcoin was launched in 2008 and now it’s highly traded within a global network of computers.

Bitcoin is not backed by a single company and it’s not controlled by the government. Which is more, it has no assets behind, but its release is tightly regulated under the system of a central banking system’s control over the minting of money.

Robocoin installed its first bitcoin terminal in Vancouver last year and recently revealed its plans to launch another one in Calgary, Alberta, later this month. Now the company is planning to bring ATMs to Asia and Europe.

Bitcoin vending machine operators have been trying to install the devices in other cities, such as New York and San Francisco, for some time, but they’ve faced regulatory hurdles.

“I can’t really afford to hire a team of lawyers to walk me through the legal issues involved with this machine,” Cole Albon told reporters.

“I do not wish to pick a fight with any government official, but I feel that rather than throw people in jail for money laundering, the government should offer up some resources into making [anti-money laundering] compliance easier for the little guy.”

Albon, who lives in California, also revealed that he has been in possession of a Lamassu vending machine for about a month, but he has not been able to deploy it thus far.

According to him, California “requires a $250,000 bond to operate the machine, in addition to a prohibitively strict anti-money laundering program.”

Which is more, quite a relaxed regulation in New Mexico allowed the local ATM to become host the country’s first Bitcoin vending machine.

Stromberg, who initially planned to place his machine in San Francisco, also explained that he changed his mind because of the regulatory climate in New Mexico made it a better choice than California.

“Enchanted Bitcoins, Stromberg’s company, said it believes it has cleared these hurdles by establishing a full anti-money laundering program and registered as a money services business with the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN),” Mashable reports.

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