Blue Ridge Bank Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin,  Technology

Blue Ridge Bank’s Bitcoin ATM announcement halts trading

The bank’s stock took a Bitcoin bounce after claiming it was ‘the first time in U.S. history a commercial bank is providing access to Bitcoin at its branch locations.’

United States commercial bank Blue Ridge Bank announced that its automated teller machines (ATMs) will have Bitcoin (BTC) features.

It’s BRBS stock promptly surged more than 20% in the space of 12 minutes, forcing the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to halt trading for five minutes. Of course BRBS promptly dropped right back down in another 10 minutes. Still, the stock ended the trading day at $21.24, up from $19.90 before the bitcoin bounce.

According to a Feb. 10 announcement, 19 of the Charlottesville, Va., bank’s on-site and off-branch ATMs will allow cardholders to purchase and redeem Bitcoin. Blue Ridge Bank claims that this is “the first time in U.S. history a commercial bank is providing access to Bitcoin at its branch locations.”

The institution’s CEO, Brian Plum suggested that he believed the coin is part of banking’s future, saying:

“The ATMs remain able to serve cash-based and inquiry activity, so this is simply layering on more services and reinforces our commitment to the future of banking for all customers.”

Blue Ridge Bank partnered with Bitcoin ATM solutions provider LibertyX and national ATM operator BluePoint ATM Solutions to roll out the blockchain features to the machines. The teller machines operator’s CEO, Wade Zirkle, said that he expects Bitcoin capability to be rolled out across many more ATMs in the future:

“We predict that more community banks and credit unions will demand innovative fintech solutions like this at their branches, and we are excited to be a leader in this space.”

While buying Bitcoin at an ATM is still a fledgling business , this may the year it becomes expected. As Bitcoin sees its all-time-high price rising regularly, the mainstream public is starting to pay attention to the cryptocurrency industry once again. 

With PayPal rolling out Bitcoin support worldwide after a very successful  U.S. launch late last year, and personalities like tech mogul and world’s richest person Elon Musk voicing support, the mainstream media is covering the space even more.

As Modern Consensus reported, Musk’s tweets have had such an impact on the price of bitcoin and altcoins—notable Dogecoin— that it has raised fears that he could crash prices with criticism.

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Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, is a New York-based journalist who has traveled the world writing about incentive travel. He has also covered consumer and employee engagement, small business, the East Coast side of the Internet boom and bust, and New York City crime, nightlife, and politics. Disclosure: Jakobson has put some 401k money into Grayscale Bitcoin Trust.