On the heels of California officially recognizing Bitcoin as valid for use in the state, two Los Angeles-area convenience stores have installed ATMs that spit out the emerging “crypto-currency,” the Los Angeles Register reports.
The stations, reportedly located inside Locali Conscious Convenience stores in Hollywood and Venice, require a palm scan and phone number to verify the transaction, says Expresscoin, the Santa-Monica startup managing the Bitcoins for the terminals. The company told the Register that it may add additional ATMs elsewhere in California.
Bitcoin is a digital system of payment in which funds move directly between users, rather than through a middleman such as a bank. Bitcoin isn’t exactly money – or at least economists argue over whether it fits traditional definitions of currency. It’s easier to think of it as a commodity like stock in a company. There’s a fixed amount of bitcoins, and users buy in to the marketplace. You can sell the shares for dollars or swap them for goods.
The Bitcoin ATMs accept cash bills and return to the user a unique private key printed on a receipt. Here’s a brief video showing how the ATMs, manufactured by Los Vegas-based Robocoin, operate. Here’s a brief video showing how the ATMs work.
Read the L.A. Register’s full story here.
This story was originally published by TechWire.