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24-hour bitcoin ATM installed in Utah

(KUTV) Utah's Overstock.Com is working to bring bitcoin, an internet crypto currency, to the masses. Bitcoin has been gaining market penetration since its birth in 2008 and is now accepted by a handful of retailers, Utah's Overstock included.

Starting Jan. 9, you can buy and sell bitcoin from an ATM in Salt Lake City. Overstock wanted the ATM in its lobby for two reasons: bringing it to the masses and easy a transition for its employees who will soon be paid in bitcoin.

The machine is located at Overstock headquarters at 6350 S., 3000 East, open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The new two-way bitcoin ATM is the first of its kind in Utah offering to exchange cash into bitcoin or bitcoin into cash.

Employees for the company say there is a one way ATM at a Salt Lake restaurant but this is the first that can feed a trade either way. Overstock spokesperson Judd Bagley says of the currency "it's a digital form ... not something you can hold in your hand. It only exists digitally."


That very definition has many confused, years after its launch. Currently it is a currency "for geeks" he says, though the idea with the ATM is to broaden the appeal and ease of use.

Overstock started accepting bitcoin as payment this time last year bringing in the equivalent of $3 million. For a company that grossed $1.7 billion, the number is small and only half what it expected. Yet it has not deterred company CEO Patrick Byrne. He says it's his belief "bitcoin will help our country to have alternative systems instead of the current financial system."

Byrne calls US currency a "joke and a big Ponzi scheme." He sees bitcoin as a far more stable currency in the long run saying "if times start getting difficult it's going to be a long line around this building of people trying to get their US dollars into bitcoin."


Byrne is not the only one jumping on the bitcoin bandwagon. Dell, Paypal, eBay and New Egg all accept the crypto currency for online purchases.
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Currently exchanges of bitcoin are cumbersome through banks driving the growing market for bitcoin atm's. The CEO for Coin Outlet- Eric Grill says he can't keep up wiith demand saying "there's a long line of people who want them, we have a shortage of machines."


Even with such demand, if you ask him to explain the bitcoin simply he doesn't have an answer saying it's complicated. Complicated to understand doesn't mean complicate to use.{ } Overstock says give the ATM a try "once people dip their toes in and see how easy it is to use it be ones much more appealing."
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Employees at Overstock will soon have the option to be paid in bitcoin in the near future and will get a slightly higher rate of pay if they opt for the bitcoin pay. Bitcoin like any currency has a flucuating value.


Today a bitcoin is worth about 300 dollars last year it was worth a high of $1100- pushed up by investors.{ } Most people who understand bitcoin say it's better for buying items, not investing.{ } As with any currency the value is always yet to be determined.


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Copyright 2015 Sinclair Broadcast Group

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