Bitcoin ATMs beginning to appear in Charlotte

Bitcoin ATMS beginning to appear in Charlotte
Updated: Apr. 23, 2018 at 6:26 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - There's something new near the checkout counter at Native Vapes, which is located in the Steele Creek area of Charlotte.

"I got a call from the guys at CoinFlip and they offered to put it in," store owner JD Canty said. The "it" to which he refers is commonly known as a bitcoin ATM.

It is basically a machine that allows you to buy cryptocurrency and slide it right into your digital wallet.

"As more people come in and see the machine, they ask questions and become more interested in it," Canty said.

The ATMs are one of two ways to buy and sell bitcoin.  The other is an online exchange, which you could describe it like a bitcoin bank but not regulated like the bank you use.

Before you buy any cryptocurrency, the cyber security experts at Fortalice say you should think about your reason.

"Are you buying it to invest?  Maybe to hold onto it and maybe it will go up in price and then you can sell it?  Perhaps, Aki Peritz, who is the director of intelligence solutions at Fortalice, said. "But if the point is to buy a cup of coffee or a ladder at the hardware store you might want to consider using cash."

Some machines operate more like an ATM by allowing you to buy and sell your cryptocurrency, but you have to be aware those often come with steep fees to pay per transaction.

"That fee is really high. It could be $45 or more," Peritz said. "As long as regular people aren't willing to pay that, these machines may be a flash in the pan.  But maybe bring down those fees and people could be more willing to use the machines to transfer money and buy goods and services."

Canty says he'd love to incorporate cryptocurrency into his business model and plans to do that soon.

"The same way people already use Android pay or Apple pay, just tap to pay and it will transfer the cryptocurrency right into our wallet," he said.

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