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This city's subway system just got new bitcoin ATMs — and it's not alone

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Anthony Wallace/AFP | Getty Images

A bitcoin ATM manufacturer based in Prague says it has installed 10 new cryptocurrency-dispensing machines throughout the European city's subway system.

The company, General Bytes, posted a map on its website showing where the bitcoin ATMs are located in 10 different metro stops in the city of 1.3 million in the Czech Republic. The machines can be used to purchase bitcoin — currently trading at more than $7,500 per unit — as well as other digital currencies, according to the company's website.

And Prague isn't alone. There are bitcoin ATMs all over America, according to Coin ATM Radar, an online tool that tracks the machines.

Coin ATM Radar's tracking shows that the United States boasts the most bitcoin ATMs in the world by far, with 1,960 of them.

Los Angeles, where bitcoin ATMs reportedly date back to 2014, is the U.S. city with the most of the machines, with 250, according to Coin ATM Radar. There are also nearly 170 of the ATMs in Chicago and over 120 in both New York City and Atlanta. Washington, D.C. has more than 60 of the machines, and Texas-based company Coinsource is reportedly set to install 20 more machines in the nation's capital by the end of the year.

Canada comes in second as a nation, with 540 crypto ATMS.

There are roughly 46 bitcoin ATMs in the Czech Republic, and more than 3,150 active located in 70 countries around the world, according to Coin ATM Radar.

The machines, which are made by a variety of different manufacturers, allow prospective cryptocurrency investors to buy their own digital currency on the spot by inserting cash to initiate a digital transaction that transfers the purchased bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency) via either a paper receipt or an online "wallet," where digital currency can be safely stored. Also, some bitcoin ATMs support two-way transactions, which means you can even sell your bitcoin and have cash dispensed on the spot.

A two-minute tutorial video posted on the website of General Bytes, the second-largest producer of bitcoin ATMs, shows how a customer can insert cash into the machines to purchase bitcoin while scanning a QR code to choose the digital address where they want to receive the bitcoin. The company sells its bitcoin ATMs online, with models selling for as much as $9,499. General Bytes said in a press release in April 2018 that it had sold more than 1,500 bitcoin ATMs worldwide, though Coin ATM Radar puts the number at 850.

U.S.-based Genesis Coin has installed its own bitcoin ATMs in 1,065 locations.

Meanwhile, bitcoin's price has rebounded somewhat recently, but the digital currency has still been a highly volatile investment for much of 2018, as its value is still more than 60 percent off its peak from December 2017.

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