In a clash of cultures, the oldest building in the world to have a hyper modern Bitcoin ATM style machine is in an olde worlde Devon pub.
And the company behind the cyber currency dispensers say they are getting queues of people – notably women in their 60s – lining up to use the machine at the cosy Bishop Lacy Inn at Chudleigh.
The Grade II listed Fore Street pub dates to at least 1730 but evidence suggests there has been an inn there since as early as 1158.
Steve Underwood, who was formerly an area director of a high street bank, is one of three directors of the company which installed the ATM, SatoshiUK. He said: “We are extremely happy with the way the ATMs are going – they are getting fantastic usage, well beyond our wildest dreams.
“At one time before lockdown we had people queued up to use it. Interestingly we have found that the most popular demographic group who use the machines are women in their early 60s.
“They tend to be people who are looking for a new home for part of their portfolio.”
Steve admitted the crytpo currency market is high risk and ‘extremely volatile’.
The pub is owned by Rob and Wendy Bishop who are strong advocates of the whole crypto currency sphere.
Other Devon Bitcoin ATMs can be found at Exeter’s Port Royal pub and Kingsbridge Information Centre.
How does the pub crypto currency dispenser work?
The machine is NOT an ATM. You cannot use credit or debit cards – only cash.
To use it you need to have created a ‘wallet’ (mainly a QR code) which contains your bitcoin address.
The machine can then scan for international ‘rogue’ addresses.
Once your wallet is accepted as genuine you put up to £500 at a time in cash into the machine and press a button to say ‘Goodbye’ to your money.
You will then be sent Bitcoin (or one of up to six other crypto currencies you choose) to the value or your cash to your wallet.
SataoshiUK was set up ‘ to enable people to buy Bitcoin and other crypto currency with the minimum of fuss via ATMs’.
It had just installed a dispenser in a Paignton newsagent shortly before lockdown.
Because of the success of the Bishop Lacy machine the company is now hoping to install others and is looking at sites for Bitcoin terminals in Plymouth, Barnstaple, Honiton, Weston- super-Mare and Taunton.
Steve said: “We cannot flood the market with these because there’s not enough people who are aware.