Doug Richardson bitcoin quickbit

Doug Richardson, of QuickBit, is promoting the use of bitcoins for the purchase of goods and services. (CBC)

A restaurant in Regina has installed the city's first digital currency bank machine, an ATM-like device that offers bitcoins for cash and vice versa.

The bitcoin has been around for several years and has been promoted as a virtual currency for use on the Internet.

The BTM, installed at a Trifon's Pizza in south Regina, allows people to buy or sell bitcoins.

"Bitcoin is getting adopted across the globe," Doug Richardson, from the company behind the machine — QuickBit — told CBC News Thursday.

"It's kind of like a portal between the digital currency world and the cash world," he explained. "This is just the beginning of a change in the way we handle money."

The purchasing power of a bitcoin depends on how it is valued, relative to an established currency.

According to recent research, the value of bitcoin has fluctuated dramatically since its inception, from $0.08 US in July 2010 to over $1,200 in November 2013. More recently, it has been trading in the $600 range.

The utility of a bitcoin also depends on whether or not people and businesses will accept a bitcoin as payment for goods or services.

Richardson said one of the goals of QuickBit is show local merchants how to use bitcoin for transactions.

"I think in about 10 years we'll look back and perhaps muse, 'I wonder what we did before we had digital currency?'" he added.