First U.S. Bitcoin Vending Machine installed

Not tech-obsessed San Francisco or New York has claimed the title of first city to install an operational Bitcoin vending machine in the U.S.

The machine is up and running, as of Tuesday, at a cigar shop called Imbibe near the University of New Mexico, according to an announcement by Lamassu, the machine’s manufacturer. The vending machine allows people to insert cash and gives a digital stash of the increasingly popular cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Vending Machine

This is my current contribution to advancing Bitcoin into the mainstream,” Eric Stromberg, owner of the Albuquerque Bitcoin vending machine said.

Though the machines have been hailed as Bitcoin “ATMs” Lamassu eschewed the term in favor of “vending machine” since the device does not function like a true ATM in that it doesn’t dispense cash.

A true Bitcoin ATM might not be far behind, though.

Robocoin, a Las Vegas-based company that installed its first Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver last year, has said it intends to install the first U.S. Bitcoin ATMs later this month.

The Robocoin machines allow for both cash-to-Bitcoin and Bitcoin-to-cash transactions.  Prospective Bitcoin vending machine operators have been trying to bring the devices to other cities, such as New York and San Francisco, but they’ve faced regulatory hurdles.

Albon, a San Francisco resident, has been in possession of a Lamassu vending machine for about a month, but he has not been able to deploy it thus far. He said California requires a $250,000 bond to operate the machine, in addition to a prohibitively strict anti-money laundering program.

Interesting facts about Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin is designed to have limited supplies at 21 million. As of June 2021, over 18 million bitcoins are in circulation, which is 89% of the total supply. The last bitcoin is estimated to be mined in 2140 or over a hundred years from now .
  • On May 22, 2010, an American man named Laszlo Hanyecz was having a hard time. All he had left was Bitcoin that no one had heard of at the time. 1 BTC was only equal to $0.0025. Due to desperation and hunger, Laszlo Hanyecz created a post on the Bitcoin community Webboard to exchange 10,000 BTC with two pizzas. 18-year-old Jeremy Sturdivant thought that was a good idea, so he ordered 2 Papa John’s Pizzas to Laszlo Hanyecz’s house and received $25 or 10,000 BTC for them. 

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