The past year has seen a huge increase in the number of Bitcoin ATMs across the globe. There have been machines from Genesiscoin, Cryptex Card, Robocoin, and finally, the cheapest option, Skyhook. Everything has not been going without small setbacks however, and today it was announced that the very first Bitcoin ATM in Arizona has been hit by lightning. Hopefully, the insurance company will not view this as an act of God. Brian Williams, the founder and owner of Javelin Investments LLC, has announced that his Bitcoin ATM has been totally destroyed by a lightning strike. The Bitcoin ATM was installed in a premises in the state of Arizona and was one of the open-source Bitcoin ATMs from Skyhook, costing around $1,000. The lightning strike hit the building that the ATM was installed in and burnt out the electronics system inside, rendering the complete Bitcoin ATM useless.
“It’s kind of like getting punched in the face. I’m trying to pick up the pieces and trying to figure out where we are at,” Williams stated.
He went on to say:
“It was a totally avoidable thing. Everything was going great. The community was getting kind of excited about it… The main thing I want is to apologize to anyone that was inconvenienced.”
Williams had only recently installed the Bitcoin ATM and hadn’t enjoyed a large number of transactions, but Williams had been working hard to develop the hype and had been seeing quite an increase in transactions as well as amounts purchased. The average purchase was claimed to be in the area of $5-$20 per transaction, which is quite a respectable range for a recently installed brand new machine, especially considering that the Bitcoin ATM was the very first of its kind in the state of Arizona.
Williams is now seeking to establish if any part of the machine can be saved in any way. He is testing out the components to establish what is still working and what is beyond repair in the machine. He may be able to replace components and get the machine functional although this may be a triumph of hope over experience. All going well he hopes to have the Bitcoin ATM ready and fully functional within a week and back into position.
As the price of Bitcoin ATMs continues to fall, more and more areas will become homes to the popular and cheap machines and lightning strikes may well become more and more familiar news items. This should not be taken as a sign that God, or any third party acting on his/her behalf are anti-Bitcoin.
In other news, a freak lightning strike has killed one man and left eight other people injured when a bolt struck during a thunderstorm in Venice Beach California. In all, 13 people were struck by lightning at Venice Beach, while a 57-year-old man was hit while golfing on Catalina Island. The man was hospitalized in a stable condition. Cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are a common phenomenon—about 100 strike Earth’s surface every single second—yet their power is extraordinary. Each bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity. Bitcoin ATMs are growing in popularity too.
Featured image by Shutterstock.
Last modified (UTC): July 29, 2014 8:50 PM