Fargo business boasts one of the first Bitcoin machines in North Dakota
FARGO—Imagine for a second, being able to walk right up to vending machine, punch a few buttons, and all of a sudden, you've got bitcoin and other cryptocurrency.
Thanks to a new machine which debuted Monday in downtown Fargo, investing is actually that simple.
For Jack Seaman of Mindak, it only made sense.
"As a gold and silver dealer, I deal all the time with customers who want non-cash assets," said Seaman.
Seaman, a Libertarian who made unsuccessful bids for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2014 and 2016, buys and sells with people who want something valuable.
"A growing portion of our population realizes maybe the dollar is going to come down in value or maybe the stock market is going to crash," said Seaman.
Now, he has even more to offer.
"If those things happen, they want alternative assets. That's what cryptocurrencies are," said Seaman.
He's no longer dealing in physical gold alone.
His shop now buys and sells the virtual kind: bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
"If you want to walk in and sell your coins, you walk in and withdraw cash like that," said Seaman.
Cryptocurrency are virtual money which fluctuate in value from hour to hour.
Bitcoin gained notoriety at the end of last year after increasing in value by more than 10,000 percent in a year.
Seaman's machine is also a digital landmark for North Dakota.
"It's a huge source of pride for me. There's only 1,500 of these machines in the entire country. This is the first of its type in North Dakota, and it's In my store," said Seaman. (Note: Seaman's machine is not the first such two-way machine in the state. Doshost in Grand Forks has a similar machine.)
Other local cryptocurrency enthusiasts are excited at the prospect of a machine like this.
Some see it as an opportunity for the curious public to begin investing.
"I think people will start to get the concept of being able to have this bitcoin without having to have constant access to a computer," said Ryan Berry, Fargo Bitcoin Moderator.
While he waits for his first customer, Seaman is confident he has something special.
"It's kind of the future of money right here in North Dakota," said Seaman.
Bitcoins are currently valued at around $11,000 a piece, but the machine allows you to buy as little as $20 worth at a time.
The machine is owned by Omaha-based AlphaBTC.