Late last month, we told you about BTCity, a startup trying to find the perfect site for the company's Bitcoin ATM, expected to be the first in Dallas. BTCity still hasn't managed to get its machine up and running, but a local entrepreneur took the company's plans as an opportunity to speed up his timeline for getting his own ATM installed.
See also: Bitcoin ATM Startup Hoping to Plant Its Flag in Dallas This week he won the race, placing the ATM pictured above into Buzzbrews' Deep Ellum location.
"I had ordered [the ATM] like a month ago and I was slowly trying to figure out legally what I needed to do. I saw [the BTCity article] so I really jumped the gun on trying to find a place to it," Jimmy Scott says. "I can't let this guy from out of town come beat me."
Scott, a recent college graduate, started trading Bitcoins about six months ago with some savings and a gift from his mother. He used LocalBitcoins, a Craig's List-like service that facilitates Bitcoin transactions to buy the digital currency because it can take up to a month to establish an account with a larger exchange like Coinbase or Bitstamp, he says.
"A popular way [to buy Bitcoins on LocalBitcoins] is by cash deposit and I had some guys out there running fraud through my account, so basically, I'm trying to find the safest way for people to buy and sell Bitcoins. To me [the ATM] is it," he says.
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So far, Scott's machine has only seen one transaction, but Buzzbrews owner Ernest Belmore looks forward to his restaurant being on the cutting edge and supporting the burgeoning means of exchange.
"I think that it's a form of competition in the marketplace that will raise some eyebrows a hopefully create policy to kind of keep our other financial currency in check, if it does grow and it does stick," he says. "It shows signs of doing that with the people that are supporting it and the positions they hold."
A key difference between the machine at Buzzbrews -- which Belmore is both hosting rent free and providing the electricity for -- and the one planned by BTCity is that transactions at the machine can only be made one way. Bitcoins can be purchased with cash, in increments of up to $1,000, but the ATM will not provide any cash out. This lowers the security risk -- two-way Bitcoin ATMs can hold hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and leaves Scott subject to lesser regulations.
Even in Texas, which has the United States' friendliest Bitcoin regulations, providing transactions of more than $1,000 or cash out would have caused licensing and fee headaches.