The first ever Bitcoin ATM has arrived in Shropshire, U.K. The machine has been installed in the Red Lion Service Station by Church Stretton-based Bitchains.

Bitchains Plans Rural Expansion Before Heading to Major Cities

In what is a first for the county of Shropshire, a Bitcoin ATM has been installed at a petrol station in the town of Wellington. The company behind the installation of the new machine is Bitchains. It is based in Church Stretton and has big plans for expansion in rural England and beyond.

Bitchains business associate, Jack Chandler, spoke to the Shropshire Star about the decision to target smaller areas:

“We are aiming at more of the remote areas to install our ATMs to spread the knowledge and importance of cryptocurrencies.”

Chandler goes on to state that Bitchains is committed to advancing Bitcoin as the world’s reserve currency. He says that the company is focused on making it as easy as possible for non-technically minded people to get involved in the financial innovation.

The machine at the Red Lion Service Station is the first of around 10 similar terminals that Bitchains plans to install in and around Shropshire and the West Midlands. Chandler hopes that such expansion will be complete before the end of the year.

In addition to the dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, users of the new ATM can also buy Ether and Litecoin. The machine will even help people set up their first digital asset wallet to store their investments.

Chandler then addressed the potential future of blockchain-based digital currencies and the importance of a speedy embrace of them by individuals and companies alike:

“People and businesses really need to start using cryptocurrencies and get on board with blockchain technology and the sooner everyone does buy into this more secure, independent way of financing the better… I feel it’s becoming increasingly important to get this message out there to people who may have previously thought it was too difficult or held misconceptions about Bitcoin.”

So far, the new ATM joins around 3,500 similar machines dotted around the globe. Of this number, just 180 are currently in the U.K. However, Chandler is hoping that Bitchain will be able to change these figures in the coming years.

The company first plans to target rural areas to help spread knowledge of virtual currencies. Following this, they hope to move into more metropolitan centres such as Stoke, Birmingham, and Manchester. Previously, most efforts to install new bitcoin ATMs have largely focused on big cities. In fact, many U.S. cities already have at least one unit. Maybe with the help of Bitchains, the U.K. will enjoy similar coverage soon.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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