Zack Harvey from New Hampshire has graced the world with its very first Bitcoin ATM. Bitcoin is the worlds first decentralized virtual currency. This currency has only been around for four years and has already gained a following among critics of central banking.
WordPress and Reddit accept Bitcoin to access their premium services. The Free State Project also accepts bitcoin payments for its summer programs. Retailers on the arts-and-crafts shopping site Etsy can also choose to accept Bitcoin.
An ATM for a virtual currency might seem to be at odds, except for the fact that the ATM isn't your typical machine. CNET describes the process:
To obtain Bitcoins, people use an iPhone app like Blockchain or Android's BitcoinSpinner to show the ATM a QR [Quick Response] code with their desired address for payments. After they insert a dollar bill (denominations up to $100 are accepted), the ATM automatically credits their Bitcoin account with the proceeds. There's a 1 percent transaction fee.
David Mcullagh reports that Harvey came up with the idea of a Bitcoin ATM when living in Tel Aviv and running an online guitar retailer, StompRomp.com, that accepted payments in the currency. He said accepting Bitcoin was more reliable and safer than dealing with charge-backs, credit card fraud, and "scam sales from certain Asian countries like Malaysia or Indonesia."
Because the currency is decentralized and incapable of being regulated (except by shutting down the internet), individuals are free to influence the system of payment as they deem fit. This has given rise not only to more Bitcoin wallet clients but also add-ons to the original software, compatible with most operating systems. The creativity hasn't stopped there; now users can confirm transfers on their mobile devices.
This makes the Bitcoin even more accessible for money or bank transfers, money wirings, and conversion into a currency untouched by any central authority.