Updated: Ahead of the roll out of Robocoin’s Bitcoin ATMs in Austin and Seattle later this month, Portuguese company Lamassu said it has installed a Bitcoin ATM in Albuquerque, N.M. and plans to install another one later this week, a representative told Fast Company.
The U.S. will soon welcome its first Bitcoin ATMs. Robocoin, which installed a Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver last fall, announced Tuesday that it will install kiosks in Seattle and Austin later this month, reports Reuters.
The kiosks will let consumers buy and sell Bitcoin for cash. To purchase Bitcoin, they’ll have to deposit cash or transfer funds to or from a virtual wallet. However, while anonymity often accompanies the virtual currency online, the machines in the U.S. are equipped with scanners to read government-issued IDs, such as passports and driver’s licenses, to confirm identities.
Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley told Fast Company it plans to announce more than 10 locations in the U.S. and Canada in the next two weeks and to eventually expand to Asia and Europe. Robocoin is also running an ambassador program to expand its network of kiosks. For helping find new Bitcoin ATM operators, ambassadors are rewarded with 25% of fee revenue up to $10,000 in Bitcoin.
Robocoin isn’t the only company trying to bring Bitcoin to real life. Last summer, Portuguese company Lamassu began production on the Bitcoin Machine, which would let people exchange cash into the digital currency, but not the other way around. Also on Tuesday, Lamassu announced it had installed an Bitcoin ATM in Albuquerque and plans to install another later this week.
Responding to Lamassu’s news, Kelley said, “We don’t really look at them as competition. Their machines, they’re $5,000 machines that give customers the ability to buy Bitcoins. The operators who choose to run those machines do not collect any information or have compliance built it. We don’t like to call machines that don’t dispense money ATMs.”