An Italian restaurant now offers patrons the chance to buy bitcoin and pay for meals with bitcoin, having introduced the first bitcoin ATM in Bournemouth, U.K., a resort on the southern coast of England, according to Daily Echo, a local newspaper.
The ATM was installed by Heliopay, a supplier of digital technology solutions that operates bitcoin ATMs elsewhere in the U.K. and supports Airbitz bitcoin wallets.
Ami Norian, who owns the restaurant, La Strada, said bitcoin is the way of the future. He said people will use the machine to invest money and to pay the restaurant in bitcoin.
John Anthony, a consultant at Heliopay, said the first bitcoin ATM in Bournemouth will hopefully appeal to younger people who are aware of bitcoin.
One customer tweeted they were surprised to see the bitcoin ATM machine. They did not expect the first restaurant they would visit that accepts bitcoin to be a family Italian restaurant in Bournemouth.
Swanage News is considered to be the first retail business to accept bitcoin in Dorset, the county that includes Bournemouth. Swanage News began accepting bitcoin in 2014.
In addition to the bitcoin ATM at La Strada, Heliopay has bitcoin ATMs at Computer Junction in Portsmouth and Blushh, a restaurant and lounge bar in Christchurch.
Heliopay supports Airbitz bitcoin wallets and also supports the RNLI, a charity that saves lives at sea and is running a drive for donations in bitcoin.
The report did not identify the manufacturer of the bitcoin ATM. Based on the picture of the machine in the restaurant and the one displayed on the Heliopay website, the machine appears to be from General Bytes.
According to coinatmradar.com, General Bytes has 87 bitcoin ATM machine placements, making it the third leading crpto-ATM manufacturer after Genesis Coin with 182 placements, and Lamassu with 149.
Also read: 5 Bitcoin-ATM companies switch to running Bitcoin Classic
There are now 35 bitcoin ATM machines in the U.K., 32 of which are clustered in and around London, according to coinatmradar.com.
The news report drew several reactions from readers, both pro and con, concerning bitcoin.
Images from Shutterstock from Twitter/Daily Echo.