Decrypting Crypto: Bitcoin ATMs popping up around Central Texas
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Automated teller machines aren’t just for banks anymore. They’re also a way for people to invest in cryptocurrency.
According to howmanybitcoinatms.com, an independent research site, there are now 50,544 bitcoin ATMs in the United States. A year ago, Reuters reported that same website counted 28,185 ATMs.
Those ATMs are popping up around Central Texas as well, in everything from gas stations to smoke shops.
SmokeeX Smoke Shop on Bosque Boulevard in Waco has had an ATM for about the last six months. What’s required to set up an account differs depending on the type of machine, but the ATM in SmokeeX only requires cash, a phone number and a digital wallet, which you can create in the kiosk.
“Cryptocurrency can be kind of a scary thing,” Daryl Delano, operations supervisor, said. “Coming in here to the store, the kiosk walks you through it and it’s a pretty straightforward process. So it’s a lot easier than some of the stuff you see online.”
Delano said they like to keep up with the current trends, and having the kiosk in the store is part of that.
“It seems like bitcoin is here to stay,” Delano said. “It offers for some of our customers who may not have bank accounts and things like that to send small amounts of money back and forth, and purchase bitcoin and invest in it through the ATM.”
Delano said in the beginning, only a few people were coming in every week to use the ATM, but he said now, more people are using it everyday. He added it’s not only good for people looking to get into cryptocurrency, it’s also good for the shop.
“Some of our customers who already were in here and coming to buy, say vape products, they realize that they have the opportunity to purchase cryptocurrency right here in the store,” Delano said. “Some of the customers that come in to purchase the cryptocurrency then see that we have products that they may buy convenience stores and things like that they can get cheaper here and more options.”
There are ATMs located in gas stations and other shops around Waco, as well as in Killeen and Temple, according to the website Coin ATM Radar. Most machines in the area only allow you to purchase cryptocurrency, but some locations do let you sell it. You can find a location near you, and the services it offers here.
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