A bitcoin ATM is coming to South Carolina — the state's first machine will be installed Thursday at the College of Charleston TD Arena.
Bitcoin ATM operator Southeast Bitcoin has partnered with bitcoin ATM maker Robocoin to offer a freestanding kiosk that lets customers buy and sell bitcoins. The machine requires users to scan a photo ID for verification and also includes biometric sensors.
The kiosk also has the ability to create a virtual wallet if a customer does not have one, so they can make bitcoin transfers.
Cities that already have a Robocoin machine include Boston, Seattle and Austin, Texas.
"Charleston is quickly becoming the Southeast's major hub for high-tech and innovation," said Southeast Bitcoin's co-founder Trey Morrison, in a news release.
In February 2013, Lamassu Bitcoin Ventures released its Bitcoin ATM, which accepts cash bills and reads a QR code containing the depositor's Bitcoin address (an identifier of 27-34 alphanumeric characters, beginning with the number 1 or 3, that represents a possible destination for a bitcoin payment). After subtracting a 1% transaction fee, it delivers bitcoin to the address in about five seconds. The Bitcoin Machine can accommodate paper note denominations up to $100.
Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin utilize instant, peer-to-peer transactions to make and receive payments over the Internet without the need for an intermediary. Previously, individuals had to use mobile applications or computers to purchase bitcoins through exchanges such as Bitstamp.
Currently 21,000 merchants accept bitcoin from customers, including businesses like Overstock.com, Virgin Galactic and some Subway sandwich shops.