The growing popularity of Bitcoin around the globe necessitated new outlets for payment, transactions, and with the help of the company Lamassu, has worked to bring the first Bitcoin ATM to New York City.
Lamassu, the Bitcoin ATM manufacturer has already sold its machines to over 25 different cities, with this being the first known instance in New York. The initiative was almost single handedly spearheaded by local resident William Ling, who purchased a machine from the company. As opposed to conventional ATM machines, the modified Lamassu models allow users to denominate and add amounts of Bitcoin into their respective accounts – according to a company statement, the machine was designed to accept currencies from over 200 countries making it globally compatible.
Interest in Bitcoin extraction for everyday users has always been one detriment facing the digital currency thus far, especially when weighed with its enigmatic origins and oft misunderstood ascension as the paramount digital currency presently. Lamassu indicated it began taking preorders for their Bitcoin machine as early as August 2013, with over 100 expected to be shipped into the New Year.
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According to Zach Harvey, CEO of Lamassu in a recent statement, “we’ve had orders from all over the world. We will be shipping to 25 different countries, ranging from Canada to Kyrgyzstan, and we’ve translated our user interface into more than a dozen languages including Russian, Chinese and Friulian. To me it’s a testament to the global reach of Bitcoin.”
Bitcoin ATMs The New Norm? Questions Loom
Indeed, the popularity surrounding the model took off after Harvey and affiliates presented one of their machines at a trade show in Las Vegas last year. However, this optimism must be tempered with patience as the presence of new machines begs a host of questions as well as issues for users, including potential fees, placement, and possible regulatory action. As recently as August 2013, the New York Department of Financial Services issued subpoenas for over 20 Bitcoin-related firms operating in the city in an attempt to question and analyze the motives and operations surrounding the companies.
Bitcoin’s mercurial nature and lack of central point of origin make it an ideal candidate for money laundering and fraudulent dealings. While the interest in the digital currency in the city certainly warrants the use of such machines, it appears that City regulators are exercising caution.