PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Bitcoin ATM network Coinsource has expanded into Rhode Island.

“What we do here is we convert cash into digital currency,” Coinsource co-founder Bobby Sharp explained.

“A lot of people don’t want to link their bank accounts to an exchange, or it takes a while for an exchange,” he added. “They want to put $200 in. It’s not as easy to do that with an exchange because sometimes those exchanges can take anywhere from 48 to 72 hours and a lot can happen in that time.”

When Eyewitness News interviewed Sharp, one bitcoin was worth more than $10,500.

“I’m sure you’ve noticed the price being all over the place in the last three years,” Sharp said. “In fact, when we put our first machine in, Bitcoin was only $168. It’s gone considerably up.

Coinsource locations in Rhode Island include:

  • LR Foods
    873 Cranston St.
    Cranston R.I. 02920
  • Khout
    691 Valley St.
    Providence, R.I. 02908

As cryptocurrencies become more mainstream, consumers are starting to use them for for all kinds of transactions, anything from buying a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop to purchasing a new home.

At a recent Senate committee hearing, lawmakers grilled Christopher Giancarlo, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, on how the government should regulate virtual currencies and what steps his agency is taking to help consumers navigate the market.

“It is such a fast-moving area,” Giancarlo said. “The first step is a thorough understanding of this emerging technology.”

Sharp says it’s moving faster by the day.

“Our demographic is everywhere. It’s everybody,” he said. “We just think a lot of people are going to start using this.”

Coinsource charges an 8% transaction fee.

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