Blue Ridge Bank is letting customers buy bitcoin where they retrieve cash.
Customers at the Charlottesville, Va.-based bank will soon be able to buy and redeem bitcoin at 19 of its ATMs. To make this happen, the bank has partnered with BluePoint ATM solutions, a national ATM operator, and LibertyX, a Boston-based bitcoin ATM software provider.
The number of bitcoin ATMs surged last year as the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the need for contactless payments. The bank joins a small list of community banks interested in serving the bitcoin community, including New York-based Quontic Bank, which launched a bitcoin rewards debit card this year.
Blue Ridge had $1.5 billion in assets at the end of the third quarter 2020, and adopted the service to further evolve for the needs of its “current and future customers,” the bank’s CEO Brian Plum said in a press release.
“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,” Plum said.
Read more: Number of Bitcoin ATMs Up 85% This Year as Coronavirus Drives AdoptionAnti-money laundering watchdogs have warned of the potential for illicit activity posed by bitcoin ATMs. In June 2020, a CipherTrace report said bitcoin ATMs were used to send money to “high-risk exchanges” known for facilitating criminal activity.