NASHUA, N.H. — Zach Harvey has an ambitious plan to accelerate adoption of the Internet’s favorite alternative currency: installing in thousands of bars, restaurants, and grocery stores ATMs that will let you buy Bitcoins anonymously.
It’s the opposite of a traditional automated teller that dispenses currency. Instead, these Bitcoin ATMs will accept dollar bills — using the same validation mechanism as vending machines — and instantly convert the amount to Bitcoins and deposit the result in your account.
“It’s even easier than just using a regular ATM,” says Harvey, 33, who demonstrated the device to CNET this weekend at the Free State Project’s annual Liberty Forum. “You could probably do it in about five seconds. The thing that would take the longest would be the bill validator taking in the dollar.”