First and Only Bitcoin ATM in Arizona Wrecked by Lightning

It appears that the gods aren't libertarians, as the first and only bitcoin ATM in the state of Arizona has been seriously damaged by a lightning strike.

According to the Arizona Republic, the business that housed the ATM was struck by lightning on Friday night, causing a power surge that knocked out the machine's vital components.

The ATM's owner, Brian Williams, says that he had just installed the $1,000 machine about two weeks earlier.

The machines are still extremely rare—the now-fried Tucson bitcoin ATM is one of only about 25 in the United States and just 145 around the world. Williams says that about a dozen or so people used the machine during its brief run.

"It's kind of like getting punched in the face. I'm trying to pick up the pieces and trying to figure out where we are at," Williams told The Republic.

Williams said that purchasing the oft-troubled money-esque bitcoin is faster at an ATM than it is online, where you have to undergo a series of multiple bank account verifications and wire transfers. He says that most of the transactions on the machine have been for $5 to $25 worth of bitcoin, which is transferred from the ATM to a digital wallet app on the users phone by scanning a QR code.

Bitcoins are currently valued at roughly $580 per coin, which, of course, is sort of ironic.

Williams says that he apologizes to his customers for the inconvenience, and that he should have the ATM up and running again by the end of the week.

Image via AP