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Las Vegas Finally Gets Bitcoin ATM

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

August 01, 2014

Las Vegas Finally Gets Bitcoin ATM

By Oliver VanDervoort
Contributing Writer

Bitcoin continues to be a digital currency that is slowly but surely gaining power and influence. Bitcoin’s influence has never been demonstrated clearer than when the Las Vegas strip got its first very own bitcoin ATM. The new ATM was launched inside the Viva Vegas souvenir shop. Even with the bitcoin ATM launching, there are some who are claiming it won’t be all that easy to access the digital currency and it won’t be the most trafficked machine on the strip. Chris McAlary, the owner of Coin Cloud, the firm that operates this ATM told the Los Angeles Times that the most practical purpose of this device is for visitors from countries like China and other places that have strict controls on their currency.

“It’s very difficult for the average Chinese person to transfer money out of China,” he told the paper. “You can store your money on the cloud and then withdraw it on demand from our machine.”

While this is the first bitcoin ATM to make an appearance on the Vegas strip, it isn’t the first of these devices in North America. Last year, Canada became the proud papa of the very first bitcoin ATM and it is interesting that it took this long for a commercial destination like Las Vegas to follow suit.

Also in Las Vegas in the coming week's will be TMC’s ITEXPO (News - Alert) business technology event at the Rio from Aug. 11-14.

One of the reasons Las Vegas hasn’t been quick to embrace the digital currency is there just aren’t that many businesses who are willing to accept bitcoin yet. McAlary said he isn’t aware of any stores or businesses on the strip that take bitcoin as a form of payment. The lack of companies taking the payment method can largely be traced back to the simple fact that while techies love the currency, it still isn’t getting enough love from the mainstream public.

Companies like Circle are trying to change that by launching the U.S.’s first bitcoin bank. This bank operates much like any other, including completely insured bitcoin accounts. McAlary and others like him are pinning their hopes on wider acceptance in the coming years but he himself isn’t quite sure whether bitcoin will ever replace credit and debit cards as the payment method of choice.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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