New York City’s first bitcoin ATM is open for business.
The Lamassu-made machine, which is operated by PYC, is up and running at Flat 128, a retailer that sells British jewelry and home goods in the West Village. According to the shop, the machine’s new location is becoming a destination for bitcoin aficionados.
“We’ve definitely had an influx of people coming into the store,” said Elizabeth DuBois, the founder of Flat 128. “It’s a whole new demographic. It’s a lot of men, early 20s to late 20s as well as older gentlemen who probably would have maybe never set foot in this store.”
The bitcoin ATM, which retails for $6,500, does not connect to a bank, and requires no PIN code or signing of any kind. Rather, it’s an easy way to convert cash for the virtual currency. But there’s one limitation; the PYC operated bitcoin teller machine doesn’t offer withdrawals. It’s only a means for users to deposit cash and convert it to bitcoins.
And PYC is looking to capitalize off the currency’s growing acceptance. The company, which currently has a second BTM in Albany, New York, is planning to build its business.
“We’re always thinking about the possibility of expanding,” said Emilio Pagan-Yourno, PYC’s co-founder. “We’re focused on the Hell’s Kitchen area in Manhattan. We will have bitcoin ATMs located outside of New York in the coming months.”
Pagan-Yourno said the company is also working to improve the currency’s reputation.
“Bitcoin has been associated with drugs in the past and people have thought of it as a scam,” Pagan-Yourno said. “I think it’s important for the bitcoin community to team up with established and respected businesses to overcome its bad image. Our decision to open our first machine at Flat 128, a high-end retail store, is helping to do just that.”