Bitcoin Around the Corner, Literally

By Clyde Vanel

Recently, while sitting in my office in Queens Village, I decided to conduct a Google search on Bitcoin ATM’s near me. To my surprise, a number of results came up. The closest Bitcoin ATM is located in a convenience store 1/10 of a mile away on the corner of Jamaica Avenue and 217th Street.

Immediately, I rush to go to the store with the ATM. The nondescript convenience store looked like any other convenience store in any neighborhood in New York City. This store however, had a sign in front stating “buy bitcoin here”. When I went into the store, I saw a number of ATMs; one bank, one which looked like some sort of lotto machine and the Bitcoin machine.

To my surprise, I was in the store for less than two minutes and a woman wearing house slippers and sweatpants was purchasing Bitcoin. As she entered cash into the machine, she stated she was buying the coins for a friend. Then two more people came to purchase Bitcoin a few minutes later. The store owner said that he has had the machine for approximately six months and there have been many transactions daily for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which is a digital asset that is designed to work as a medium of exchange using encryption to secure transactions and control the creation of additional units. Bitcoin uses what is known as blockchain technology to secure it’s transactions.

Cryptocurrency is disrupting industries and changing markets. But what is interesting is that these currencies are also being used by the average citizen. Penetration of its use is becoming more and more prevalent. As an assembly member that sits on the Banking committee and an owner of denominations of Bitcoin, Etherum and Litecoin, we must properly and carefully review crypto currency. There is a Bitcoin machine around the corner.