Bitcoin teller machines in Boulder let customers jump into the cryptocurrency market

Walk into the Amante coffee shop at 2850 Baseline Road in Boulder on any given morning and you’ll see what looks like an automated teller machine sitting along one wall.

Throughout the day, a handful of people use it. One is a techie, another is a well-dressed, middle-aged couple. But this is not your grandmother’s ATM. It’s a Bitcoin teller machine, a portal into the brave new world of cryptocurrency.

Some call this new kind of money the grandest experiment of our time. Others fear its rising power and the rest of us have no idea what the heck it is.

Boulder’s Eric Weissmann was fascinated early on with the potential of digital currency. And when the opportunity arose to own and operate Bitcoin teller machines, or BTMs, he jumped in and founded Modern Tender. Weissmann thought the architecture of the code, the blockchain, had the potential to transform currency markets.

“I was interested in Bitcoin and thought the blockchain technology was revolutionary, so I wanted a foothold in the space. We reached out to Amante because we wanted a location that was upscale, easily accessible, and attractive to early adopters and the tech demographic,” Weissmann said.

BTMs are still rare. There are 13 statewide, including two in Boulder — Weissmann’s at Amante Coffee and a second machine in the Spark Boulder tech accelerator at 1310 College Ave.

The two BTMs in Boulder were installed in February of 2015. The Spark machine is owned by Aurora-based XBTeller. Officials there could not be reached for comment.

Operating outside the traditional banking system with no regulatory oversight, BTMs have experienced a surge in use as more people turn to cryptocurrencies as a haven from political instability and distrust of government-backed currencies.

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