Just past the front doors of a Shell gas station on the corner of South Dudley Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue sits Memphis' first-ever bitcoin ATM — the first of its kind and only the third machine like it in Tennessee.
Bitcoin is a digital currency created in 2009. It provides freedoms, and limitations, such as making purchases online, even anonymously, and is decentralized, meaning no bank or government has any authority to regulate the currency. That's the short of it, but it's far more complex: you can dive deeper here, here, and here.
The machines, built by leading U.S. bitcoin ATM network Coinsource, are the company's answer to naturalizing the buying and selling of the electronic currency. Located at 967 Linden Avenue, Memphis' lone ATM joins 60 other machines spread across seven other states including California and New York. Coinsource has installed bitcoin ATM's at a rate of 1.2 machines per week since the beginning of 2016.
“The demand for bitcoin ATM's has never been higher than it is today," said Coinsource CEO and Co-Founder Sheffield Clark. "Our reach in the South is growing. Many thousands of Americans have begun to realize that bitcoin is becoming a stable payment option and a lucrative form of investment as well"
Still scratching your head? Here's a primer on how to purchase bitcoin from a Coinsource ATM: