The Bitcoin ATM in the lobby of the Phone Shop in Union Gap allows users to buy and sell the cryptocurrency. (Jake Parrish, Yakima Herald-Republic) YAKIMA, Wash.

— Most customers at the Phone Shop in Union Gap visit to purchase phones and accessories and get their mobile devices repaired. But in recent months, it’s been the place for owner Chris Briskey to evangelize about bitcoin, a well-known type of cryptocurrency; think of it as electronic cash.

It’s also been the go-to place for those who have purchased or want to purchase bitcoin. In April, Briskey got a bitcoin ATM, which allows people to convert cash into bitcoin and vice versa and access it through a virtual wallet online.

The ATM has attracted bitcoin investors from all over the state since its installation. Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies and the accompanying technology have gained attention in recent years, even catching the eye of banks and other mainstream technology companies.

Some in the financial industry, such as hedge fund managers and venture capitalists, see long-term investing potential. In the Yakima Valley, cryptocurrency has remained a niche interest. Read more from…

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