Convenience retailers could make £2,500 a year from siting a bitcoin ATM in their shop.

Bitcoin is a digital currency that was invented in 2009 that operates independently of central banks. There are no transaction fees and no one owns the bitcoin network.

Kay Patel, owner of Best-one Global Food & Wine in Stratford, east London, has had a bitcoin ATM – which was supplied by BCB ATM – in his shop for four months.

“It pays for the small footprint it takes, but the key is that it increases footfall,” he said. “It’s not my regular customers that use it, people come from far and wide to use it.”

BCB ATM currently supplies bitcoin ATMs to nine convenience stores, with eight more rolling out in the next six weeks.

The company offers the unit, shipping and installation for free. Retailers are paid between £100 and £400 a month to site the unit in their store, making £2,500 a year on average.

Landry Ntahe, BCB ATM head of operations, said the machines are used between 30 and 40 times a day, with 25% of people using them being new customers to the store.

“People are moving away from cash, and currencies like bitcoin are becoming more popular,” he said.