Vending Machines and Bitcoin: The Next Wave?


What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank.

A vending machine accepting this cryptocurrency sprung up at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Perhaps as an ironic twist of it accepting Bitcoin, the vending machine only sells Soylent.

Are Bitcoin-accepting vending machines in our foreseeable future?

While MIT is not pioneering the Bitcoin-accepting vending machine frontier, it is an early adapter. Some of the first Bitcoin-accepting vending machines were spotted in 2012.

Chris Smolen, founder of Utica-based Upstate Networks created a  Bitcoin-accepting vending machine. Smolen said: “I thought it could be as big as email in terms of the advent of the Internet,” further explaining: “Once people realize the ease of these payments, they’ll never go back to Visa or MasterCard.”

It is commonplace to find vending machines that accept credit cards and debit cards now. Of course vending machines still accept cash as payment, and coins. As we progress as a society with different methods of payment, vending machines are adapting as well. Due to their incredible ease of use, and convenience, we are confident vending machines are here to stay. Perhaps we will see more and more vending machines accepting Bitcoin as payment systems continue to diversify and become competitive.

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