Aaron Williams

Founder, Atlanta Bitcoin

Bringing Bitcoin to Main Street. That’s the mission of Atlanta’s Aaron Williams: to make Bitcoin’s presence commonplace and convenient in the marketplace. With his new venture, Atlanta Bitcoin, Williams is dropping Bitcoin into everyday lives using the same process that people are accustomed to and trust—a secure, easy-to-use, and fast ATM or Bitcoin dispenser.

Atlanta Bitcoin’s machine allows people to insert cash and then have the equivalent amount of bitcoins added to their Bitcoin wallet.

Williams’ vision for Atlanta Bitcoin actually grew from his own experience when he became intrigued by media reports on Bitcoin early in 2013 and then attempted to buy some for himself. “It was difficult, and I’m a tech guy,” he says. “A little light then went off, that with my background, I could probably help make bitcoin purchases a much less intensive process.”

Williams sees wider mainstream acceptance ahead as Bitcoin becomes more readily available and part of the everyday consumer experience. “Bitcoin is in a very interesting phase now,” he says. “It’s just starting to bubble up to the mainstream, but that brings its own challenges. It really appeals to the problem solver in me.”

Williams’ vision for Bitcoin’s adoption in the marketplace draws on a decade- plus of experience in the electronic payment processing industry. This puts him in a unique position in the Bitcoin world. He knows the payment industry’s rules, requirements, consumer expectations, and—perhaps most importantly—how to avoid the traps.

“There are definitely right ways and wrong ways to develop payment systems and point-of- sale processes, but the bottom line is you have to make it as natural as walking up to your bank teller or ATM to make a deposit or withdrawal, and then go to the restaurant next door for dinner—which you’ll pay for with bitcoins instead of your credit card,” he says.

“It’s all about relieving friction. That will allow people to use Bitcoin as comfortably as they do all their current forms of payment. They’ll enjoy a similar process and experience, with the same expectations being met.”

Bitcoin’s integration into the current payment process is just one aspect of Williams’ focus.

“Bitcoin is a fertile business landscape with significant opportunities,” he says. “I’ve always been drawn to collaborating with others on challenging projects. There are other points of friction to solve.”