FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Investments in cryptocurrency, or digital currencies, continue to grow around the country, including in Fort Wayne.
Ralph Marcuccilli, the founder and CEO of Fort Wayne-based Allied Payment Network, describes cryptocurrency as a digital currency that is not backed by the U.S. government. Since it is not supported by the federal government, consumers do not need to go through a bank to exchange it. However, he adds the value of cryptocurrencies can fluctuate daily.
“Since (cryptocurrency) doesn’t have a U.S. guarantee, it’s based on what somebody else would pay you for it,” Marcuccilli said. “That changes day-to-day, like the stock market.”
The most well-known version of cryptocurrency is Bitcoin, but there are several other currencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin that have gained traction, too.
In the past, consumers had to have some level of technical know-how to buy cryptocurrency. Now, access to buying cryptocurrency is easier than ever. Apps like Venmo and PayPal make it much easier for everyday consumers to purchase cryptocurrency at their fingertips.
Another tool that has become more common in Fort Wayne are Bitcoin ATMs. Like a standard ATM, consumers can exchange cash for cryptocurrency at a kiosk. According to Coin ATM Radar, there are nearly two dozen cryptocurrency ATMs located throughout the Fort Wayne. Kiosks like the one displayed below can often be seen at gas stations or convenience stores.
WANE 15 spoke with Scott Buchanan, CFO of Bitcoin Depot, one of many cryptocurrency ATM manufacturers. Buchanan says they have about 3,500 ATMs located throughout the country, including a pair in Fort Wayne.
Watch below for a brief walkthrough on one of the cryptocurrency ATMs.
The strategy behind these kiosks is to expand cryptocurrency’s reach to everyday consumers. Convenience stores have flexible hours and bring in a variety of people. The kiosks are created to bring a sense of familiarity to consumers who use ATMs with their bank.
First time users need to create an account before exchanging money at a cryptocurrency ATM. Depending on how much is deposited, consumers would need to input information like their name, telephone number and social security number.