I bought bitcoin at a deli in the US -- here's how it works

Unnamed 11Frank ChaparroMario’s Gourmet Deli.

At first glance, Mario’s Gourmet Deli, a New York City bodega on the corner of West 106th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, looks like a regular corner store.

But inside there’s an ATM that gives folks access to what some view as the future of payments and finance: bitcoin.

The recently installed ATM was featured in a New Yorker piece by Ian Parker, who described it as a “machine with the body of a regular ATM but the soul of a lottery terminal.”

I paid the deli a visit to buy some bitcoin, the digital coin that’s up over 400% this year. Here’s what it was like. (Please excuse my poor photography skills.)

Get the latest Bitcoin price here.

Here's a shot of Mario's.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

The bitcoin ATM looks like a normal one, but it doesn't work the same. You can't withdrawal bitcoin, as it's not a physical currency, and it accepts only cash.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

A Coinsource bitcoin ATM allows you to buy up to $3,000 worth of the cryptocurrency, which is less than one coin. I bought the minimum amount, $5.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Before I could make a purchase, I had to put in my mobile phone number to verify my identity.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Upon entering my phone number, I received a text.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Then I typed the verification code into the machine.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Next, I had to scan my ID.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

The scanner is right under the keypad. It took a couple of seconds to scan the back of my ID.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Once all the verification stuff was squared away, I was given the option to either scan my wallet code (bitcoin is stored in wallets) or enter its address. Since I didn't have a wallet, I had to download one from the App Store.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

I downloaded Breadwallet.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Instead of giving you a number, Breadwallet gives you a random phrase as a security code in case you ever need to recover your wallet -- though if you screenshot the phrase, like I did, Breadwallet will void it and give you a new one.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

When my wallet code scanned, I could start putting cash into the machine. I inserted $5, which at the time was equal to 0.00130916 bitcoin.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

The bitcoin showed up in my wallet after about 20 minutes. When I took the picture, however, my part of a bitcoin was worth only $4.65.

Frank Chaparro/Business Insider

Coinsource has bitcoin ATMs across the country, but most are in New York and California.

Coinsource

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at research.businessinsider.com.au.