Category Archives: Bitcoin ATM

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More Americans Choosing Bitcoin ATMs Despite Regulations

Despite the higher fees associated with buying or selling Bitcoin via specialized Bitcoin ATMs, quicker and more reliable delivery have seen rising popularity for the machines in the United States, even as ATM networks struggle to expand within strict regulations in the country.

RockItCoin, one of the biggest Bitcoin ATM providers in the US, told Bitcoin News that its network of 125 machines is a critical piece of infrastructure that turns Bitcoin into a real currency that can easily be traded back and forth for the US dollar.

From only seven machines in December 2015 taking days to get even a single transaction, RockItCoin has seen demand spiking with USD 300,000 monthly volumes and rising. Today, RockItCoin is in 13 states and is planning on expanding nationwide.

Dependable Bitcoin exchange

RockItCoin chief operating officer and co-founder Ben Phillips acknowledges that using Bitcoin ATMs are pricier but give users the benefit of reliability. Apparently, one of RockItCoin’s biggest problems is customers that send Bitcoin from exchanges to the ATM report long delays and get frustrated, because exchanges can take hours to broadcast a transaction to the blockchain. This is unlike RockItCoin Bitcoin ATMs, which send Bitcoin instantly after payment, and dispense cash exactly when the first transaction confirmation occurs, which takes an average of ten minutes.

The author of this article regularly uses the local RockItCoin Bitcoin ATM to convert Bitcoins into US dollar and confirms that an exchange cashes out in about ten minutes.

Bitcoin demand to overcome regulatory challenges

“I think Bitcoin will be the main cryptocurrency and will be the cryptocurrency that gains the most value long term… Bitcoin will continue to gain acceptance, and that it will only take one or two major retailers like Starbucks to adopt Bitcoin for it to gain major momentum,” said Phillips.

This is because it has the most user base and demand, and with the proper scalability solution like Lightning Network, Bitcoin could handle the entire world financial system. He expects acceptance by major retailers to occur within the next 18 months and believes Bitcoin will eventually replace credit cards.

Simultaneously, Phillips sees that there is a battle between governments and Bitcoin. Bitcoin can solve major problems in third world countries that are dealing with hyperinflation and lack of banking, but even first world governments like the US are making Bitcoin exchanging difficult via regulations, which hurts adoption worldwide. RockItCoin goes through extensive audits from banks and the government constantly, which is time-consuming and expensive.

Prudence necessary for growth

Phillips says the government’s main concern is to stop money laundering for terrorism and this stems back to the fear from the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks. He agrees that the government is fearful that it will lose power over currency due to Bitcoin and that’s the true reason for regulations.

The co-founder says that for the world to fully benefit from Bitcoin, regulations need to become more reasonable so that there are no problems exchanging Bitcoin for fiat. He explains that RockItCoin is a fully licensed Money Service Business but is forced to use small banks as big banks like Chase and Wells Fargo won’t even work with RockItCoin or other major Bitcoin ATM providers. This makes it difficult for Bitcoin ATM networks to expand and evolve, and is the reason there’s only a handful of nationwide Bitcoin ATM networks in the United States.

It takes significant funding to obtain proper licensing as a Bitcoin ATM operator, in addition to constant legal fees. Ben thinks that many Bitcoin ATM networks get halted and crippled as they grow from a handful of machines to a medium-sized network. However, if an operator can successfully transition to a larger network like RockItCoin, then it can be a profitable business model.

Bitcoin as a currency

Phillips thinks Bitcoin ATMs are essential for adoption and will play a major role in the next rally, as people recognize and know how to use them.

He brings up an interesting point, that Bitcoin should be a currency and not an investment tool. RockItCoin sees Bitcoin as a transaction vehicle, not an investment, and the co-founder thinks it could be damaging for Bitcoin for investors to hold onto large amounts because this limits the coins in circulation.

He also believes that Bitcoin dealers were very important to get Bitcoin adoption started but that Bitcoin ATMs are the next level and are better than the dealer system. This is especially because RockItCoin has full support to help people get started with Bitcoin, since most new users need an expert to guide them.

Despite faith in Bitcoin, Phillips doesn’t think the US dollar will collapse, calling it “the best of the worst” that will take “a new generation of politicians” to effect any change or transformation on the world’s most-used currency.

 

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Report: Crypto ATM Market to Hit $144.5 Million by 2023

Research And Markets has published a report on the Bitcoin ATM industry, and projects that it will grow from USD 16.3 million in 2018 to USD 144.5 million by 2023, with an average yearly growth rate of 54.7%.

It is unclear what these amounts specifically mean, whether it’s the profit generated from the ATMs, the amount of money it takes to manufacture the ATMs, or both. Regardless, the report says the Bitcoin ATM industry will grow an astonishing 787% during the next five years. This is in agreement with current data, which shows that eight new Bitcoin ATMs are being installed every single day.

Right now, there are 3,700 Bitcoin ATMs. Less than a month ago on 8 August 2018, Bitcoin News ran a story on how the number of Bitcoin ATMs is growing exponentially, and how there are 3,500 Bitcoin ATMs in the world, versus 2,090 at the beginning of 2018, 949 at the beginning of 2017, 502 at the beginning of 2016, 327 at the beginning of 2017, and a mere four at the beginning of 2014. Some 200 new Bitcoin ATMs have been installed since that article was written. Clearly, Bitcoin ATMs are a profitable business model and they are proliferating globally.

Research And Markets says two-way Bitcoin ATMs will have the highest growth rate long term. This is because two-way Bitcoin ATMs are essentially a fully functioning crypto exchange, since they can provide fiat to crypto and crypto to fiat services, and this is in high demand. In contrast, 1-way Bitcoin ATMs can only provide fiat to crypto, making them useless for people that need to cash out Bitcoins.

ATMs that print QR code wallets are expected to spread at a faster rate than ATMs that don’t provide that option. Additionally, even though North America dominates the Bitcoin ATM market at this time, Research and Markets expects the Asia-Pacific region to have the highest growth rate of Bitcoin ATMs over the next five years.

The spread of Bitcoin ATMs is providing critical infrastructure worldwide that is turning Bitcoin and crypto into a currency that can be used in everyday life, since these Bitcoin ATMs make it easy to convert Bitcoin back and forth into fiat. Additionally, the spread of Bitcoin ATMs has coincided with a drastic increase in Bitcoin’s price, and ATMs will likely prove as an essential source of demand during the next big rally.

 

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Zimbabwe’s Bitcoin ATM Sits Idle Just as Country Needs It Most

Zimbabwe’s Bitcoin ATM – the first and only one in the country – has been reported to be unusable, just as demand for Bitcoin there is at an all-time high.

Golix, the exchange responsible for installing the machine at their office in Harare, has been embroiled in a high courts battle since May 2018 with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. The central bank had ordered all banks in the country to sever ties with Golix and other exchanges, halting the facilitation of crypto trading. Ultimately, this forced exchanges, including Golix, to cease operations, with bank accounts frozen and large amounts of money owed to customers.

The Zimbabwean Dollar was officially demonetized in 2015 and Zimbabwe no longer has a native fiat currency. This crippled the economy for a time, with people and companies losing entire life savings. At the peak of the inflation crisis, there was 98% inflation rate every day, with inflation rates annually reaching hundreds of billions of percentage increases.

Now Zimbabweans use the US dollar, euro and other major global fiat currencies. They also use some silver and gold. Bitcoin has also been in demand, with average prices in Zimbabwe frequently much higher than average global prices, likely due to its decentralization and resistance to inflation. Citizens likely find these aspects to be highly desirable, given their recent experience with fiat currency.

Golix is hoping that it will have success in Zimbabwe’s High Court and overturn the crypto banking ban, which would allow it to start exchanging crypto for fiat again, a necessary mechanism so they can channel Bitcoin into Zimbabwe. No court date has been set yet, however.

 

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Russian Police Swoop on 22 Crypto ATM’s Across the Country

The Russian Police have seized 22 Bitcoin ATMs in 9 different cities across the country by orders from the country’s Central Bank.

The machines located mostly in shopping malls, stores and restaurants across the country are operated by Bbfpro. The company’s manager said there were no warnings from the police prior to the seizures, but that the authorities said that the machines will form part of an ongoing police investigation set to last for at least six months.

Cryptocurrencies are still not legally accepted in the vast country, although President Putin has flirted with the idea in the past of looking into the possibility of a state-owned crypto, principally to avoid trading sanctions. A statement on a government website in November last year, released when Bitcoin was skyrocketing, outlined the government’s position at that time when a local businessman attempted to install two ATM’s in Kazan:

“Currently, the legal status of crypto-currency in the Russian Federation is not defined. The provision by Russian legal entities of services for exchanging “virtual currencies” for rubles and foreign currency, as well as for goods (work, services) is considered as potential involvement in the implementation of questionable transactions in accordance with the legislation on combating the legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime, and the financing of terrorism.”

This hasn’t stopped the Russians from continuing the installations of Bitcoin ATMs, with 43 operating in the country until the police swooped in this week. In terms of world rankings, the US has the most number of installed Crypto ATMs, with 1721 machines currently in use, out of which 151 are located in New York City. Europe is led by Austria with 160 machines currently in use, followed by the UK with 124. The latest machine was installed in the UK, in the sleepy town of Kingsbridge, Devon just last week. France only has 2 active Bitcoin ATMs.

Although the Russsian Central Bank has not given any detail on why it ordered the seizures of Bbfpro’s ATMs, an official has indicated that the regulator carries out “systematic work to identify and counteract illegal activities in the financial market,” meanwhile, no indication of illegal activity has been reported.

Bbfpro has sought legal representation to fight against the seizures, claiming that Russia does not actually prohibit the acquisition of cryptocurrency and that the company itself follows all legal requirements by payment of government taxes and verification of user identities.

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Number of Bitcoin ATMs Growing Exponentially Past 3,500

The number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide has been growing exponentially, according to data from Coin ATM Radar. As of this writing on 7 August 2018, there are 3,509 Bitcoin ATMs in 74 countries around the world, up from 2,090 at the beginning of 2018, 949 at the beginning of 2017, 502 at the beginning of 2016, 327 at the beginning of 2015, and 4 at the beginning of 2014. Eight new Bitcoin ATMs are installed every day on average.

As can be seen from this data, Bitcoin ATMs are a relatively new invention that practically didn’t exist before 2014, but they are obviously a profitable enterprise since Bitcoin ATM operators have been installing them in more locations as fast as possible. North America dominates the Bitcoin ATM market with 74% of all Bitcoin ATMs, and Europe is in second place at 21%. There are Bitcoin ATMs on every continent besides Antarctica.

Bitcoin ATMs are essentially a Bitcoin exchange that can be visited in person. They provide near immediate results, versus a Bitcoin exchange like Coinbase which can take days to complete a Bitcoin buy or sell. More importantly, Bitcoin ATMs provide a physical link between Bitcoin and the economy, since they allow people to move Bitcoin into and out of fiat currency in a convenient way. Bitcoin ATMs allow people who get paid in Bitcoin to easily get the cash they need to pay rent and buy food, making Bitcoin paychecks just as good, if not better, than a cash paycheck.

While there is much talk across the Bitcoin world about how a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) or physical Bitcoin futures need to be approved for Bitcoin to gain mass adoption, the proliferation of Bitcoin ATMs across the world might be a far more important factor. Bitcoin ATMs are increasing the Bitcoin userbase, Bitcoin transaction volume, and therefore Bitcoin price. Bitcoin ATMs turn Bitcoin into a currency that can be easily used in real-life.

Bitcoin ATMs often offer other major cryptocurrencies in addition to Bitcoin. There are 1,738 ATMs which offer Litecoin, 1,121 ATMs which offer Ethereum, 814 ATMs which offer Bitcoin Cash, 424 ATMs which offer Dash, 63 ATMs which offer Monero, 44 ATMs which offer Zcash, and 39 ATMs which offer Dogecoin.

 

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Moon Zebra Launches Malta’s First Two-Way Bitcoin ATM

Moon Zebra has installed the first two-way Bitcoin ATM in Malta. The two-way Bitcoin ATMs allow users to both buy Bitcoin with fiat and to convert Bitcoin back to fiat, and are far rarer than typical one-way Bitcoin ATMs that only allow users to buy Bitcoin with fiat. Even though this is only the 4th Bitcoin ATM installed in Malta, it is a major positive step for Malta, which has been called ‘Blockchain Island’ by many for its extremely favorable stance towards crypto and blockchain companies, including giving the world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance a fiat bank account.

Two-way Bitcoin ATMs are essential for the global adoption of Bitcoin as a currency, allowing users to quickly and easily move money between fiat and crypto. Now people in Malta who are paid with Bitcoin by their jobs can easily turn their Bitcoin into cold hard cash and use it to buy food, necessities, and pay rent

According to Coin ATM Radar, there are 1,256 two-way Bitcoin ATMs in the world versus 2,218 one-way Bitcoin ATMs, as of this writing on 15 July 2018. A two-way Bitcoin ATM provides all the functionality of a cryptocurrency exchange and is much faster. Typically it takes several days to convert Bitcoin into fiat when using a cryptocurrency exchange, and it requires a bank account. Bitcoin ATMs are nearly instant, usually requiring 1 confirmation which takes about 10 minutes before dispensing cash for deposited Bitcoin. Also, Bitcoin ATMs don’t require a bank account, making them the only option for unbankable Bitcoin users besides Bitcoin dealers.

Although Bitcoin ATMs typically charge higher fees than a cryptocurrency exchange for both buying and selling, on the order of 5-10%, the time saved is worth it. This is especially true since the near instant nature of Bitcoin ATMs protect users from market volatility; Bitcoin price fluctuations can easily exceed 5% in a day and sometimes even 10%, so it is worth a fee to make an instant Bitcoin to fiat transaction.

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Amsterdam Installs First Airport Bitcoin ATM in Europe

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the main international airport in the Netherlands, has installed the first European airport Bitcoin ATM according to a press release on 20 June 2018. This is the 20th Bitcoin ATM installed in the Netherlands, placing the Netherlands 12th in the world for number of Bitcoin ATMs. Currently, Europe has 21.45% of the 3,292 Bitcoin ATMs in the world, while North America dominates at 74.39%.

The director of consumer products and services at Schiphol, Tanja Thick, said the machine was installed to give travelers an option to convert their remaining cash from the local currency EUR to a global currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, so that they could use the currency when they get home. This will begin as a six-month trial to test interest in the service, and this Bitcoin ATM is being provided via a partnership with The Byecoin Company.

Indeed, a traveler could easily convert Bitcoin or Ethereum to their local fiat currency when they get back home if they have access to a Bitcoin ATM that has cryptocurrency to fiat functionality, which is called a two-way Bitcoin ATM. Some 37% of Bitcoin ATMs have two-way functionality while the remainder only allow users to buy cryptocurrency with cash. If a two-way Bitcoin ATM is not available, a user can simply send the Bitcoin purchased at the Schiphol ATM to their cryptocurrency exchange account, where it can be sold for their local fiat and deposited to their bank account.

Essentially, Bitcoin provides travelers an alternative option to currency exchange stores. This doesn’t necessarily save on fees, since Bitcoin ATMs often have fees of 10% or even more. However, it is safer for travelers to store their money as cryptocurrency since it is not vulnerable to physical theft.

 

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Jo’Burg’s First ATM Hopes to Enthuse Local South Africans Towards Bitcoin

South Africa has its first cryptocurrency ATM since 2104 and the new Northwold Spar machine in Johannesburg will become the only one operating in the country, reports Bitcoinist.

George Neophytou, the General Manager of the Northwold Spar and self-confessed crypto enthusiast was inspired to purchase the machine after a trip to Europe, the continent with the world’s third market share of crypto ATMs, He comments:

“It is all awfully exciting. It will take away much the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream… It’s a different world there. Walking around in the streets of Germany you see signs with ‘Bitcoins accepted there’.”

The ATM, which was imported from Portugal, will be able to process various forms of cryptocurrency tokens including Ethereum and Bitcoin. It’s not the first in South Africa, as a previous machine was installed in 2014 at a men’s salon in Midrand, Johannesburg, but was closed down after a short period in operation. The store manager was excited about the prospect of making cryptocurrency available to his customers:

“It is all awfully exciting. It will take away much the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream…Lots of people in South Africa are also in the cryptocurrency space and lots of South Africans are watching it. However, not all individuals have access to it.”

Neophyou hopes that his ATM will make cryptocurrency accessible to those customers without a bank account, and hopes to roll out more ATMs, if successful. Although, he warns that those using the machine should do their research and understand that they should only spend what they can afford to lose.

A recent survey conducted in South Africa maintained that one in four respondents confirmed they plan to invest in cryptocurrency in the future, and another 15% said that they would invest in mining equipment. Although, warnings of electricity hikes of up to 50% in the near future may well dampen the enthusiasm of prospective bitcoin miners, according to LiveBitcoinNews.com

South Africa joins Zimbabwe and Djibouti are currently the only African countries to offer cryptocurrency ATMs.

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Washington Just Got 20 New Bitcoin ATMs

In response to significant demand from local users and merchants, Washington DC has installed 20 Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs across the US capital. A Texas-based Bitcoin ATM network, Coinsource, rolled out the machines.

In the Maryland and Columbia districts, the machines were added in response to high demand and are being positioned in convenient locations. Other locations such as Washington DC, Baltimore, Towson, Oxon Hill and Takoma Park will also be playing host to the Bitcoin ATMs.

From paper money to Bitcoin

Bitcoin ATMs are a global phenomenon, breaking down the entry barrier of identity verification by allowing the public to put in cash or a debit card to purchase BTC immediately. At present, the US has over 1,700 crypto ATM locations with approximately 40 of those existing in its capital.

Sheffield Clark, CEO of Coinsource, explained:

“We are meeting Washington DC at an inflection point, where regulators are looking at the value and potential of decentralized currencies and blockchain technology. All innovation over time has passed through our nation’s capital in one way or another, and we are happy to be now servicing Washington DC and the surrounding communities so that they can have easy access to buying and selling Bitcoin.”

Bitcoin ATMs are being installed at a feverish pace and the US is the current leader in deployment and use of these. Previously, Washington had only five serviced Bitcoin ATMs provided by five different operators.

CMO of Coinsource, Bobby Sharp, said:

“We are expanding the Bitcoin ATM market further than it’s ever been in DC, offering the lowest rates, exclusive remote enrolment and allowing for at-home account registration. This instalment is especially significant to Coinsource, as the philosophy behind decentralized currency is and has always been about giving freedom back to the people. As a company, I feel that we have been able to provide financial freedom to the underbanked and unbanked, and I am happy to bring our services to DC.”

Ease of access

Using a Bitcoin ATM is easily one of the fastest and easiest ways to buy and sell BTC; users often just feed bank notes into the machine or use a regular debit or credit card transaction, after which they receive a physical paper receipt with a QR code on it. Users are then able to scan that code into any wallet and complete the transaction.

 

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