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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

April 30, 2014 at 4:10 PM

Seattle gets first Bitcoin ATM

Seattle is getting the first bitcoin ATM in the Northwestern U.S. on Thursday, giving local users of the virtual currency a convenient way to swap it for cash.

The world’s first bitcoin ATM opened last October in a Vancouver, B.C., coffee shop. That location reportedly handled $100,000 worth of transactions in its first week.

Similar setups have since begun sprouting around North America, although an early installation in New Mexico apparently only operated for a few months.

Seattle’s Bitcoin ATM will begin operating Thursday at the Spitfire sports bar on Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle, where opening demonstrations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Transactions up to $3,000 will be handled at the kiosk. It will be available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.

Las Vegas-based Robocoin, maker of the system being installed at Spitfire, earlier announced plans to open an ATM in Seattle by the end of February.

The ATM is being operated by a venture called Coinme, which promising that transactions — cash to Bitcoin, or Bitcoin to cash — will be processed within 10 minutes.

Spitfire is owned by Jonathan Sposato, a Seattle tech investor, entrepreneur and veteran of Microsoft and Google.

We’ll have to see if Sposato starts accepting bitcoin as payment for beer.

Comments | Topics: bitcoin, seattle

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