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Bitcoin ATM’s – Cryptocurrency on the rise

By Tami Stevenson

Cryptocurrency is growing in Florida. So much so that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently appointed Valerie Szczepanik as its new “cryptocurrency chief,” a first-of-its kind position and one that is much needed, according to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis.   

Patronis cautions consumers to do their homework before using or investing in digital currency stating the market is very unstable, despite its current popularity.

It has caught on so quickly, the Seminole County Tax Collector now accepts bitcoin and bitcoin cash to pay for property taxes, driver license and ID card fees, tags and titles; Tampa/St. Petersburg was ranked seventh in the top 10 bitcoin-friendly cities in 2016 and Miami/Ft. Lauderdale was ranked eighth; there are more than 160 Bitcoin ATMs across Florida; and an entirely Bitcoin real estate transaction in Miami took place in December 2017, according to CFO Jimmy Patronis.

According to Stephan Burke, a member of the Master Brokers Forum and a supporter of the digital coinage, cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin (the most popular at the moment), is a digital currency stored in a computer and is sent and received from one party to another. All cryptocurrency transactions are permanently recorded on a shared viewing site online, a ledger — the blockchain. Supporters say they like it because it bypasses the banks, feel it is more secure than traditional payment methods, is anonymous as - for the moment - it is outside government surveillance, including criminal activities, and money can be sent to anyone, anywhere instantly.

An interactive map is available online at that lists locations of ATM’s and tellers that deal with cryptocurrency. According to a 2018 map of Florida from their website, there are 15 locations in Jacksonville, one in Gainesville and Ocala and three in the Tallahassee area. Location numbers grow the further south you head in the state topping it off with 63 in the Miami area.

“It’s important for Floridians to fully understand what they are getting into before they make any investment, and that includes cryptocurrency,” Patronis stated in a release. “I’ve directed my staff to set up a call with Szczepanik to discuss how we can continue to protect consumers from being taken advantage of in our state.”

Much has been written recently about what cryptocurrency is and how it operates. According to Burke, is a good source of information.