Digital currency, also known as cryptocurrency, comes in a variety of types, one of the most common types being Bitcoin.
Locally, Bitcoin has made a public debut at the downtown Jolts & Juice location in the form of an ATM made specifically for that cryptocurrency.
The Argus caught up with Jordan Heinz, general manager of Jolts & Juice, to find out more about this new digital money machine.
“The machine has been at our downtown location for about four weeks now,” she said.
Heinz said that while there have been a few customers that she’s seen use the ATM, “it’s still a somewhat newer thing.”
This is not the only Bitcoin ATM in Ontario, and Heinz says they got their machine from CoinStop, nearby the coffee house’s other location at Ontario Marketplace.
“The machine sells Bitcoin, Sumcoin, and Litecoin,” said Heinz.
Does Jolts and Juice have plans to put another Bitcoin ATM in any of its other locations?
“We might consider putting one in at our Marketplace location,” stated Heinz.
The CoinStop Bitcoin ATM is owned and operated by the creator of the cryptocurrency Sumcoin, Ty Jacobsen. He says he is an elliptic curve cryptographic engineer with many years of experience in computer coding.
In a phone interview on Friday afternoon, Jacobsen said cryptocurrency, being technological and complicated, might be intimidating for some people.
“There’s a learning curve that’s associated with that,” he said.
Jacobsen said that learning about cryptocurrency is like sending an email for the very first time: Most people are nervous trying new things related to technology, but once they get used to it, it can become easier.
Jacobsen confirmed that the cryptocurrency ATM at the coffee shop is the first of its kind in Ontario outside of his own store. He said that this was very exciting for him to see that cryptocurrency is being used by people to get a cup of coffee.
“It’s world-changing stuff, it’s life-changing stuff. It’s taken me five years to get to this point,” said Jacobsen.
He said that any kind of cryptocurrency carries risk with it, especially if people are not sure how to invest safely. For that reason, he holds a cryptocurrency class every Thursday night at 6:45 at CoinStop. These classes are to offer education about what cryptocurrency is, how to use it safely, how to avoid scams, how a transaction works and any other topics related to digital money.
Jacobsen urges anyone in the community with questions about the evolving monetary movement to come by one of the Thursday night classes.