Mixed martial arts students in Las Vegas can now pay for their training in bitcoin if they so choose. They can also buy bitcoin at One Kick Nick's Mixed Martial Arts Gym which now has a bitcoin ATM. The popular Las Vegas gym recently installed a bitcoin ATM to meet the growing interest in bitcoin among the youthful, tech-savvy mixed martial arts community. Bitcoin Direct LLC, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based company, mounted the General Bytes ATM on a wall in plain view of visitors and students.
Patrons can buy bitcoins from the unidirectional ATM with cash or by using their smart phones and the QR code. The ATM, made in Prague, Czechoslovakia, distributes bitcoin from wallets and bitcoin exchanges.
A Way to Promote MMA Fighters
Gym owner Nick Blomgren sees bitcoin as a way to promote the fighters he sponsors. He sponsors several professional mixed martial arts fighters who regularly compete on national television for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Bellator MMA, and World Series of Fighting.
Blomgren became interested in bitcoin after hearing his fighters talk about it. “The fighters wanted to know if they could get paid with bitcoin,” he said. “(Bitcoin) is on the minds of the 25-to-35-year olds.” The gym’s fighters now wear Bitcoin logos on their shorts when they compete in front of the Pay Per View, Access TV and Spike TV cameras.
Bitcoin Direct LLC processes the transactions for the gym via a web server. Gym patrons can pay for memberships and merchandise in bitcoin. Bitcoin Direct LLC has a technician in Las Vegas who can address any technical issues with the ATM.
Peter Klamka, owner of Bitcoin Direct LLC, believes One Kick Nick's is the first gym in the country to accept bitcoin. As part of the ATM service agreement, Bitcoin Direct LLC has become a gym sponsor, giving the company the opportunity to place display ads in the facility.
More Bitcoin ATMs Coming To Vegas
Klamka, who is based in Ann Arobr, Mich., relocated to Las Vegas temporarily and expects to have seven General Bytes bitcoin ATMs open by the end of the month. He has also installed a bitcoin ATM in a Las Vegas smoke shop. In addition to his two Las Vegas installations, Klamka operates one in New York City, one in Grand Rapids, Mich. and one in Montreal, Canada.
Klamka said retailers like bitcoin ATMs since they generate attention and build customer traffic, thereby improving sales. He gives retail customers the choice of purchasing an ATM outright or contracting to allow the company to operate the machine in exchange for a commission. Thus far, most retail customers have opted for the commission arrangement.
There are currently a total of eight bitcoin ATMs in Las Vegas, according to coinatmradar.com, which tracks bitcoin ATMs.