Yesterday, Enchanted Bitcoin run by Eric Stromberg of Albuquerque, New Mexico unveiled the first American Bitcoin ATM at an upscale cigar bar and lounge called Imbibe. The Bitcoin ATM has been successfully running for over a day now, and if you are in Albuquerque make sure to check out their launch party which is scheduled for February 21, 2014. The Albuquerque Bitcoin ATM is provided by Lamassu whose CEO Zach Harvey had this to say:
"This is very special for us. Enchanted Bitcoins are paving the way for mainstream Bitcoin accessibility in the Unites States, they have put in a lot of time and effort on the compliance side, and we’re very excited to see them open for business."
Why is the first American Bitcoin ATM in Albuquerque?
New Mexico happens to be one of two states in the United States that does not have state level money transmitter business (MSB) licenses. Out of the 50 states in the United States, 48 of them have additional MSB licensing and regulatory requirements on top of existing federal laws; pointedly, New Mexico and South Carolina are the two "freest" states in this pecuniary aspect.
Given New Mexico's long and hard independent streak, and recent Breaking Bad fame, I'm not surprised that the official first Bitcoin ATM in the United States is located conveniently where the fictional Saul Goodman can start to use it.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the country...
On the heels of this fantastic news are reports from all the way across the great plains in Bostom, Massachusetts. Liberty Teller has today unveiled their own American Bitcoin ATM also by Lamassu located at South Station in the busy Boston metro system. Don't worry, they said that they would be anchoring the Bitcoin ATM into what is likely to be a permanent spot.
Austin and Seattle Too?!
As reported by Reuters and repeated many times by media in these past few days, Bitcoin ATMs are also coming to Seattle and Austin. The difference here is that these ATMs are built by Robocoin, the Bitcoin ATM company that provided the first ever Bitcoin ATM to Vancouver back last year.
Ironically, Robocoin is based out of Las Vegas, Nevada and these two ATMs in Austin and Seattle will mark their machines' debut within the United States. Lamassu has Bitcoin ATMs going to all different corners of the world, and I look forward to witnessing the continued competition between Robocoin and Lamassu.
I also look forward to using one of these bad boys myself! Though I'm not too handy on giving up my biometric palm information...