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Manhattan's first Bitcoin ATM is now operating

Manhattan’s first Bitcoin ATM recently opened in the West Village (although it wasn't one of the ATMs on our current wish list) and we can’t help but wonder—is this the future of currency?

If you're like us, you've heard of Bitcoin before. But what exaclty is it? Basically, Bitcoin is a new kind of money (the virtual kind) that you can send to your peers through the internet. The best part is there's no banks, central authority, PIN or signing of any kind—it’s just an easy way to exchange money at a very low cost. One Bitcoin is equal to $505.5 US dollars, but they can be used in any country.

The Bitcoin ATM is currently located outside of British jewelry store, Flat 128, on Christopher Street between Grove St and Waverly Place. The machine will only allow customers with Bitcoin wallets to deposit cash and purchase the currency—so this is definitely not your typical ATM since you can’t make withdrawals (yet). But, the machine will employ a small transaction fee. So, at least some things never change.

It’s still unclear how far Bitcoin will go in this economy, but there are actually a few large and many small businesses that accept this method of payment. New York locations such as Gotham Cookies, Melt Bakery, EVR NYC and Lord & Taylor are currently accepting Bitcoins. But you can view all of the Bitcoin locations around the world thanks to this handy dandy map. What will they think of next, right?

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