PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A brand new bitcoin ATM has been installed in Philadelphia.
Inserting cash only to have it disappear into cyberspace would anger a typical ATM user, but for bitcoin holders, that’s the goal.
“Some people travel like an hour distance to get here to use this ATM,” said the store owner.
This bitcoin ATM went online just one week ago inside of the Philly Dream Shop on South Street.
“It’s kind of a land grab in our industry just because there is so much opportunity out there and Philadelphia just got a lot of the elements we are looking for,” said Sheffield Clark, Coinsource Managing Partner.
Bitcoins are a form of cyber currency. They have no physical shape and exist only in a user’s cyber account. Their values rise and fall similar to Wall Street commodities.
These ATMs allow bitcoin users to deposit cash into whats known as “cyber wallets.”
“You can carry it on your phone, its increasingly way to make consumer payments because more merchants are accepting it,” said Clark.
After a volatile beginning, the value of a bitcoin has steadily risen over $170 this past year alone, making it an investment opportunity for some.
The Falcon Condominiums in Manayunk can now be purchased with bitcoins, but their changing value must be factored in.
“Buyer and seller have to agree who takes on the risk of that fluctuation,” said realtor Susanna Kunkel.
It’s an appeal to the tech community while also catering to those who cannot or do not work with banks.
“Its nothing to be dismissed and that’s what I really see, in five years I think we’re all going to look back and go, ‘Wow I didn’t see this coming,’” said Kunkel.
There are two other bitcoin ATMs in Philadelphia, but less than 30 nationwide.