Bitcoin machine makes debut in ABQ

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Albuquerque is home to the first Bitcoin vending machine in the country.

You can find it at Imbibe, a cigar shop in Nob Hill near UNM.

It’s owned and operated by Eric Stromberg of Enchanted Bitcoins. He says he chose Albuquerque because New Mexico is one of the few states with friendly regulations.

So what are Bitcoins? Basically, it’s virtual money.

Unlike typical currency, which has to go through a bank and is linked to personal information, Stromberg says the Bitcoin offers privacy.

So how does the vending machine work?

Well, users must have Bitcoin addresses and a smartphone wallets with QR codes. They insert their cash and the Bitcoins immediately show up in their electronic wallets. The Bitcoins can be used to buy things like video games or books.

“There are a number of merchants in the world and there are at least eight in Albuquerque that accept Bitcoin as payment,” said Stromberg. “There is a growing number of online merchants accepting Bitcoin. Two most recent are overstock.com and tigerdirect.com.”

Stromberg believes Bitcoin will eventually become more common than PayPal as form of payment.

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