The UK’s first bitcoin ATM and retail store has opened, and is one of the first to accept payments in the crypto currency.
Tesla is also opening a store in the capital, London, to accept bitcoin payments, while an unnamed company is building a bitcoin-friendly manufacturing facility in the north east of England.
The new stores are part of Tesla’s ambitious plans to become a world leader in the supply of bitcoin and blockchain-based financial services.
Tesla, based in Manchester, has more than 2,500 bitcoin ATM machines, and has been expanding its network of more than 5,000 bitcoin ATMs and retail outlets to include locations in the United States, Europe and Australia.
The company is now selling bitcoin ATM products to a wider range of customers in the US, Australia and New Zealand.
The first bitcoin-compatible Tesla ATM, a Tesla Model S electric car, is now being sold in the west Midlands city of Birmingham, with the first UK locations to open in London.TESLA CEO Andrew Whitehurst said Tesla was also the first major retail retailer to offer bitcoin-accepting technology.
“We’ve been working with the bitcoin community for a long time, and this latest development is the culmination of the many years we’ve invested in the industry,” Whitehurst told CoinDesk.
“The technology behind this new technology is an important step towards the day when bitcoin is mainstream and mainstream retailers accept payments using bitcoin.”
The UK’s largest Bitcoin ATM company has announced it is expanding to the UK to accept the cryptocurrency, with its UK operations set to open later this year.
The move is a response to the increasing number of bitcoin ATM devices and retailers that are expanding their network of bitcoin ATMS in the wake of bitcoin’s explosive growth.
The Tesla store, located in the city’s West End, is one the first of its kind to accept bitcoins in the U.K., with other bitcoin-connected stores also set to be opened in the coming months.
“It is a great opportunity for the local community to enjoy bitcoin in their local communities,” Tesla UK Chief Executive and co-founder Steve Evans said in a statement.
“Tesla’s aim is to build the Tesla platform to be the world’s leading retailer of bitcoin.”
Tesla has been working closely with the Bitcoin Alliance, a coalition of merchants and retailers who are working to make bitcoin more widely accepted in the financial services industry.
“As part of our partnership with the Blockchain Technology Association, we have committed to building a network of local retailers that accept bitcoin as payment,” Evans added.
“This is the first step in our ongoing mission to provide local businesses with the right tools and tools to be able to offer the best bitcoin experience.”
The Tesla Model 3 electric car was the first car to be offered in the new Tesla outlets.
The outlet is the company’s second Tesla outlet to accept Bitcoin, with a third one planned to open by the end of this year in the south west London suburb of Walthamstow.
“In addition to its retail operations, Tesla has developed a bitcoin ATM which allows customers to buy, sell and trade digital currency,” Evans said.
“It will also allow Tesla customers to transfer bitcoin to their account via a digital wallet.”
The new Teslas store, which has a capacity of 1,500 customers, will be one of a number of new bitcoin ATAMP locations being built across the U, UK and Europe.
“Our aim is that by opening the Teslas in this country, we can make bitcoin available to the wider community, enabling people to spend and invest their bitcoins wherever they are,” Evans continued.
Teslas is not the first company to accept and sell bitcoins, with others including PayPal, Amazon and even US-based bitcoin exchange Bitfinex already offering bitcoin payments in their outlets.
But Evans believes the Tesla Model 4 will be the first electric car to use bitcoin, which could further open the way for Teslas to become the world leader.
“For Teslas, this is a very exciting development,” Evans explained.
“They are the first mainstream company to do this, and that’s because they have already demonstrated a very robust acceptance network and a large enough footprint in the car market to be recognised as the leader in this space.”
The Teslas are available in three colors: gold, black and silver, with each model featuring an electric motor.
The Teslas range is expected to start at £30,000 ($40,000), which will be more affordable than many electric cars on the market today.