The Austrian capital of Vienna is now home to what is being referred to as the world’s first Bitcoin bank. The newly-opened “Bitcoin Bank” is owned and managed by blockchain firm Bit Trust, and has opened for business in one of the more popular Vienna shopping areas on Mariahilfer Strasse. The bank was launched to help simplify the buying and selling process for Bitcoin enthusiasts in the area.
According to The Local, an English-language online site for Austrian news, customers can use the on-site Bitcoin ATMs to exchange fiat currency for Bitcoin or stop by to learn more about digital currency. Bit Trust managing director Magdalena Isbrandt commented on the important role Bitcoin and other digital currencies will play in the payment systems of the future:
"It is simply much faster and it can be done without a middleman. This means that value or money are transmitted from participant to participant."
Austria’s first Bitcoin ATM appeared three years ago, and others soon followed. At the same time, many in the country have gradually embraced the digital currency – with the capital now home to nearly two-dozen restaurants, bars, and other venues that accept Bitcoin as payment for services.