A Virginia bank claims to be the first commercial financial institution in the U.S. to let users buy and redeem bitcoin at its ATMs. The Charlottesville-based Blue Ridge Bank announced it now provides access to bitcoin at its 19 ATM locations, at both its branches and its off-site ATMs according to a reportby the Richmond Times Dispatch.
To offer the service, the Blue Ridge Bank partnered with BluePoint ATM Solutions, a national ATM operator based in Woodstock, Va., and LibertyX, a U.S. Bitcoin ATM software provider based in Boston.
Hundreds of bitcoin-only ATMs operate across the country but the majority requires a cash feed into the machines to purchase bitcoins. When customers use the Blue Ridge Bank ATMs they can buy bitcoins and redeem the cryptocurrency for cash but they must have the LibertyX app on their mobile phones and a “digital wallet” that is used to store bitcoin. Anyone can use the bank’s ATM to buy and sell bitcoins as long as their ATM card is accepted, regardless of a customer’s financial institution.
Earlier this month, Blue Ridge Bankshares completed a merger with Henrico County-based Bay Banks of Virginia Inc., the parent holding company of Virginia Commonwealth Bank. Once Virginia Commonwealth Bank branches and computer systems are converted into Blue Ridge’s systems, most likely in May, the bitcoin feature should be available at those branches as well.