CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A new form of currency is drawing a lot of attention, and now it’s showing up in Charlotte.
Bitcoin is basically digital money you can spend like cash, and it’s not regulated by the bank you use.
Now cryptocurrency ATMs are making Bitcoin more accessible than ever. Native Vapes in Steele Creek is one of the first businesses to host one of these ATMs. It looks and works similar to a normal ATM, but the concept of cryptocurrency makes it different.
“I really think this is the wave of the future,” Native Vapes owner JD Canty said.
Right now, Native Vapes is one of only three locations for CoinFlip ATMs in the Charlotte area.
“We probably average about four people a day that use it,” Canty said.
How it works is not so different from a barcode.
“You’ll take your phone, you’ll scan it at the ATM, and then you’ll put in cash for the amount that you want, and it’ll send it straight to your phone right away,” CoinFlips COO Ben Weiss said.
Weiss said globalization is one reason an international currency like Bitcoin makes sense.
“I can send a million dollars right now off my phone to someone in India, and they will get it within ten minutes,” Weiss said. “It’s way quicker than the banking system.”
But Bitcoin’s value is a lot more volatile. In December, one Bitcoin was worth over $19,000. Right now one Bitcoin is worth less than $9,000.
“Bitcoin is only worth anything because people believe in it, but that’s just like any other currency,” Weiss said.
The machine at Native Vapes only takes cash in exchange for Bitcoin, but as the price of Bitcoin has risen to new heights in recent months, people want to cash out.
Weiss said a two way machine that allows users to do that will be in Charlotte within a month.