Chicago’s First Bitcoin ATM Debuts in Lakeview

cassavabreadbitcoin29 July 2014 / dnaInfo – LAKEVIEW — The city’s first bitcoin ATM debuted in Lakeview over the weekend at Cassava Bread.

Bitcoin is a type of currency and online payment system that’s been around since 2009. People and businesses can make transactions directly to one another — meaning no bank or credit card fees.

“It doesn’t really cost anything. In fact, it’s cheaper than most credit cards,” said Jorge Flores, who owns Cassava Bread at 3338 N. Clark St.

Flores said his gluten-free cafe has been accepting bitcoin for about four months. It makes up 1-2 percent of his revenue.

“That’s more than we take in Discover Card,” Flores said, “and that’s a national credit card.”

So when Midwest Bitcoin — an Indiana-based company that designs bitcoin ATMs — offered to install one at Cassava free-of-charge, Flores jumped at the chance.

“It’s mutually beneficial for us because he’s in a great location in Chicago,” said Rod Baradaran, Midwest Bitcoin’s chief operating officer.

Customers who use the ATM are charged a 5-percent fee, Baradaran said. That covers any exchange fees incurred by Midwest Bitcoin, and helps the company turn a profit.

The benefit to paying the fee, Baradaran said, is that customers can convert cash to bitcoins — or vice versa — in as little as 60 seconds. Online transactions are free, but could take several days.

“It’s just a lot more convenient,” Baradaran said…… Read more

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