Many years from now, a cigar shop in Albuquerque, New Mexico will have gone done in history for having the first Bitcoin vending machine available to the public in the United States. The machine made its debut Tuesday at the cigar shop Imbibe near the University of New Mexico. Manufacturer Lamassu announced Tuesday that it had permanently installed the vending machine at Imbibe, described as an upscale cigar bar and lounge in the Nob Hill neighborhood of Albuquerque.
Albuquerque, N.M. — not tech-obsessed San Francisco or New York — has claimed the title of first city to install an operational Bitcoin vending machine in the U.S. The machine is up and running, as of Tuesday, at a cigar shop called Imbibe near the University of New Mexico, according to an announcement by Lamassu, the machine’s manufacturer. The vending machine allows people to insert cash — in exchange, it gives a digital stash of the increasingly popular cryptocurrency. “This is my current contribution to advancing Bitcoin into the mainstream,” Eric Stromberg, owner of the Albuquerque Bitcoin vending machine, told Mashable. Though the machines have been hailed as Bitcoin “ATMs,” Lamassu eschewed the term in favor of “vending machine” since the device does not function like a true ATM in that it doesn’t dispense cash.