Garland’s BTM & Cryptocurrency

With the popping up of Bitcoin ATMs, the time has come to make an effort to comprehend the mechanisms involved in this new monetary system. The first thing to grasp is that Bitcoin does not exist in physical form. It exists in the digital world only, fueled by electronics. Why and how would any intelligent adult put their greenback dollars into something so seemingly remote and unsecured? We hope our research will help us understand that phenomenon. 

Just how does bitcoin relate to happenings in Garland and Rowlett? First of all, a neighbor told me about a bitcoin scam that left him $1K poorer. He was being assisted with making his first investment in bitcoin, and entrusted that person with his bank account number and routing number. He had agreed to invest $500, but his entire account had been taken over. He contacted his bank soon enough, so that after it was all sorted out he had only lost $1K. If he’s still interested in buying into bitcoin, he can do it himself, without an assistant, we told him. We had spotted a BTM right next to the ATM in the convenience store at Harvey’s Exxon Station at Kingsley and Broadway. Just follow the easy steps on the screen of the bright blue machine. As of June 30, 2021, one bitcoin is valued at $34,899, having declined sharply over recent days. Currently there are 12 million bitcoins inexistence, with new bitcoins being created at the rate of 25 every ten minutes. 

We have been told there are much larger machines, capable of various cryptocurrency transactions, recently distributed from a Garland warehouse. We tried to track one down, but the nearest one was on Kraft Road in Rockwall. There are no doubt other BTMs in Garland and Rowlett, but we took photos of the one we found at Harvey’s. 

While doing some research, a friend pointed out that the largest bitcoin heist in history has just occurred in South Africa. Brothers, Ameer and Raees Cajee, created Africrypt, an investment app. They seem to have disappeared, along with 69,000 bitcoins, valued at approximately $4 billion. Bitcoin was founded in 2009, and is only twelve years old. Its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, “appeared out of the ether in 2008, founded bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, and disappeared a few years later. He disappeared just as abruptly as he had appeared. Looks like those two South African brothers may have taken a page out of Nakamoto’s book of tricks. Cryptocurrency is cryptic, indeed!

In 2014 one bitcoin was worth $468, and rose to its all time high of well over $50,000. Fortunes have obviously been made, but can we tell you how this thing works? Answers to our inquiries have contained terms like, “block chains” and “cryptography”, and we have no idea of what they mean. Keep in mind that bitcoins and other cryptocurrency do not exist in physical form. Those South African brothers did not take off with a sack full of gold coins, they just moved some numbers around on the internet. It’s going to take some time for many of us to adjust to this new digital world we find ourselves living in. 

Nancy Ghirla

Email: [email protected]