New York City to get first Bitcoin ATM

A Brooklyn native has taken the preliminary steps towards getting New York City its first Bitcoin ATM.

The New York Post reported over the weekend that 30-year-old William Ling of Brooklyn has managed to get his hands on one of the new high-tech automated teller machines, and he hopes to soon install it inside of a bubble tea shop in Manhattan’s East Village.

Just like a traditional ATMs, Ling’s new machine lets customers access their financial information and withdraw funds without going into a bank. The 100-pound steel-encased ATM doesn’t dispense paper currency, however, but instead allows people to add and subtract Bitcoins from their personal cryptocurrency accounts.

Ling’s ATM is a new machine made by the company Lamassu and boasts the ability of being able to convert currency from “fiat to Bitcoin in 15 seconds.” Each console accepts bank notes from over 200 countries around the globe.

“Users first download a Bitcoin wallet mobile app — such as BlockChain or Mycelium — and set a password. A black-and-white QR code appears. They press the phone against the ATM’s glass window so it can scan the code, then feed in cash,” Joseph Gallivan wrote for the Post. “Presto, the machine sends Bitcoins to the phone.”

Lamassu began taking preorders for their Bitcoin ATMs back in August, and has so far seen requests from no fewer than 120 interested parties around the globe. A dozen had already been delivered as of last month, and the company expects more than another 100 to be shipped before the spring.

“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,” Lamassu CEO Zach Harvey said in a press release last month. “To me it’s a testament to the global reach of Bitcoin.”

Interest in the machines surged earlier this month after Harvey and his Lamassu colleagues presented their Bitcoin ATM at the CES electronics trade show in Las Vegas.

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