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Bit Coin ATM sets up shop in downtown Albany

Updated: 07/15/2014 6:54 PM
Created: 07/15/2014 5:19 PM WNYT.com
By: Abigail Bleck

ALBANY -- Civilization may have been born in Ancient Greece but according to the owner of a Greek coffee shop and bakery, the currency of the future has arrived in downtown Albany. 

"Bit coin is cash, just in the digital sense," explains Paul Paterakis, owner of Coffee Time at Hellas Bakery.

CT@HB, claims Paterakis, is home to New York State's first Bit Coin ATM.  Not only can you use the online currency here to buy a drink, snack or sandwich but you can also feed the kiosk cash which it converts to online money.

"An ATM puts a reality, a face to it, and also some customer service along with it."

With Bit Coin, your account--or virtual wallet--is linked to a bar code or QR code that is swiped and depleted through purchases.  So, far there are about ten Bit Coin transactions a day at CT@HB.

"That's a lot for a new currency that has just been developed."

Merchants believe in Bit Coin because there isn't a transaction fee like there would be with a credit card.  And Bit coin users believe it's safer because it's anonymous and less susceptible to hacking because your personal data isn't stored by a merchant.

"Credit cards, to be honest, were not made for the internet.  They are from the 1950's and it's 2014.  We need something where your info is protected at all times."

CT@HB is holding a training session on how to use Bit Coin on July 24th.   Registration is encouraged. 

Bit Coin's own website says users should consider it a high risk asset and that you should never store money with Bit Coin that you cannot afford to lose.

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