Category Archives: Bitcoin ATM

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Chicago’s Bitcoin ATM Hub Booms

A spike in the numbers of Bitcoin ATMs could be a subtle indicator that Bitcoin is making its way into mainstream adoption rather quicker than most would care to admit. It may also be as well a signal of bullish sentiment despite market downturns.

Chicago, known for its dense financial busyness and also home to many crypto-related businesses, has also proven to be one of the hotspots for Bitcoin ATMs. Bitcoin ATM business in the city might just be booming as a total of 30 of the machines have reportedly been installed since the beginning of the year in the area.

As at November last year, Bitcoin News reported that the numbers of Bitcoin ATMs globally were breaching the 4,000 mark, currently, stats by Coin ATM Radar has it at 4,262. According to the same source, Chicago has about 226 Bitcoin ATMs / Tellers in and around Chicago.

The current wave of ATMs introduced to the city of Chicago is by Atlanta-based Lux Vending company using the tag ‘Bitcoin Deport’ and that takes the total numbers of ATMs in Chicago near 100, says Chicago Business. As for the company, this comes to a total of 200 ATMs distribution in the US.

While the competition for providers in the area may be fierce, “there’s a large degree of adoption”, says CEO of Red Leaf Chicago Eric Gravengaard whose 60 of the company’s 200 Digital Mint machines are installed in Chicago, with the others spread across the US.

Probably one of the major daunting challenges with these ATMs at present is the 10 to 20 percent transaction fees which typically cost more than an equivalent average transaction done on the US exchange Coinbase. To facilitate the rapid patronage of these new ATMs, Lux is doing a short-term waiver on its fees. Still, something has to be done about the fees; once the waiver is over, people will still have to deal with the realities of having to choose between Bitcoin ATM kiosks and other alternatives.

The good news is that there are numerous point-of-sales services for Bitcoins and while having an increased distribution of Bitcoin ATMs makes crypto sort of ubiquitous, leaving the options open will appeal to many crypto enthusiasts especially when considering the cost of exchanging their asset.

 

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New Yorkers Can Now Buy Bitcoin at ATMs With Debit Cards

New Yorkers Can Now Buy Bitcoin at ATMs With Debit Cards

With cryptocurrency ATMs on the rise around the world with machines globally passing the 4,000 total at a rate of five installations a day, both New York and Chicago are showing continued US dominance in the sector.

New York now offers customers the opportunity to purchase Bitcoin using a regular credit card at machines supplied by ATM provider LibertyX. The company now has selected ATMs across the city able to provide the new service. It has been installing crypto ATMs across the US since its first opened in Boston in 2014, later providing campus machines at Harvard and MIT.

The debit card ATMs having been finding homes across the US since last year, but have only just come to New York City having just gained approval from New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS).

A customer can use one of the new ATM debit card facilities by simply downloading a LibertyX mobile app and then registering their account. Once done, users have access to Bitcoin withdrawals to the tune of USD 3,000 a day by using their debit card. The move is hoped to encourage more widespread use of cryptocurrency ATMs by illustrating the ease of access to crypto funds.

The windy city has no plans to be left behind, and Chicago is currently undergoing its own battle of the ATMs with many providers vying for trade. The latest provider to hit town is Atlanta-based Lux Vending which has now added 30 of its own machines already across the Chicago area this year, taking its total in the city to 200.

Other companies in the race for planting their machines across the nation include home-based Red Leaf Chicago, who, apart from having 60 machines across the city, has another 120 machines across 21 states, including Iowa, New Jersey, Florida, and California. Another Chicago-based company has gone worldwide choosing to place its ATMs internationally, with only three in Chicago. With 65 machines across the US, it has found many of its 100 remaining machines doing huge business in Colombia and Argentina, a trade which could increase dramatically given the current economic and political unrest in the region.

 

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Bitcoin ATM Industry Set to Breach 4,000 Machines Worldwide

The number of Bitcoin ATMs sits at 3,989 on CoinATMRadar as of 11 November 2018 and at the average installation rate of 6.29 Bitcoin ATMs per day, the total worldwide should pass 4,000 over the next few days. The number of Bitcoin ATMs has been growing exponentially, with a 100% increase likely in 2018. This article analyzes the Bitcoin ATM industry by type of ATM, cryptocurrencies offered, countries and manufacturers.

There are only two fundamental types of cryptocurrency ATMS, 1-way which offer buying services and 2-way which offer buy and sell. There are 2,038 1-way ATMs, and 1,081 2-way machines. While 1-way Bitcoin ATMs are important, 2-way models are more optimized for spreading cryptocurrency adoption, since these turn Bitcoin into a currency that can be used in everyday life, allowing users to sell cryptocurrency for essential things like food and rent.

Just about all (99.9%) cryptocurrency ATMs offer Bitcoin: 2,335 offer Litecoin, 1,799 offer Ether, 1,302 offer Bitcoin Cash, 693 offer Dash, 82 offer Monero, 70 offer Dogecoin, and 56 offer Zcash. These are the most popular and reputable cryptocurrencies and at this time, no ATM offers all possible cryptocurrencies.

North America dominates the Bitcoin ATM industry with 2,371 in the United States and 677 in Canada. This leaves fewer than 1,000 in the rest of the world.

Europe is in second place, with 248 in Austria, 208 in the United Kingdom, 77 in Russia, 67 in Spain, 67 in the Czech Republic, 42 in Switzerland, 38 in Italy, 35 in Slovakia, 26 in Poland, 25 in the Netherlands, 23 in Romania, 19 in Finland, 18 in Greece, 13 in Slovenia, 12 in Hungary, and surprisingly, only 2 in France and 1 in Germany. Despite its second place in continental rankings, they are still considered a rarity in Europe.

Outside North America and Europe, less than 5% of Bitcoin ATMs can be found. The massive continent of Asia only has 100 machines – fewer than 1 ATM for every major city. An outlier in the Middle East is the tiny country of Israel, which has 8 Bitcoin ATMs. Australia has 55, and New Zealand has a mere 2. South America has fewer than 40 Bitcoin ATMs, and Africa fewer than 10.

While the Bitcoin ATM industry is booming, these figures clearly show that Bitcoin ATMs are a rarity in most of the world, and there is a vast amount of room for the industry to grow. Aside from in the United States and Canada, it is still the very early days for the Bitcoin ATM industry.

As far as manufacturers go, Genesis Coin and General Bytes dominate the global Bitcoin ATM industry with over 1,000 each. Lamassu, BitAccess, Coinsource, and Covault have more than 100 Bitcoin ATMs each. Beyond this, there are 38 manufacturers with fewer than 100 Bitcoin ATMs, 4 of which have no machines deployed yet. Although the deployment number for some of these manufacturers are insignificant, it only takes one contract with a country that has practically no Bitcoin ATMs to propel any of these manufacturers to the top of the ranks.

 

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Coinsource is First Bitcoin ATM Operator with New York Bitlicense

Coinsource, a Texas-based firm with 192 Bitcoin ATMs across the United States, has become the first Bitcoin ATM operator to receive the New York Bitlicense. The company had previously been operating 40 Bitcoin ATMs under a provisional license in New York City, Westchester and Long Island.

Genesis Coin also operates numerous Bitcoin ATMs in New York but is still awaiting approval from the New York Department of Financial Services.

The CEO of Coinsource, Sheffield Clark, said, “Coinsource is the first and only company that operates BTMs [Bitcoin ATMs] to receive a New York virtual currency license. All New Yorkers — from the people that are unbanked to the people who own the banks — can use our kiosks in their neighborhood retail locations to buy bitcoin instantly in a convenient and familiar way. Now that Coinsource is a license holder, our customers can buy and sell with confidence that Coinsource meets and exceeds the high standards set by the New York Department of Financial Services. New York represents not just a center of global innovation but also one of our largest target markets. We are extremely proud to be the only BTM operator holding a New York virtual currency license.”

The New York Bitlicense is difficult to obtain and has been controversial since it was implemented in August 2015. Any individual or organization that buys or sells cryptocurrency as a customer business, performs exchange services, controls or issues a cryptocurrency, or stores cryptocurrency on behalf of others is breaking the law unless they have the Bitlicense.

For a period of time, this caused Bitcoin trading in New York to become illegal and to this day, Bitcoin dealing is illegal in New York. In 2017, that problem was alleviated when Coinbase got the Bitlicense. At this time, only 12 companies have received charters or Bitlicenses to operate in New York, including Circle, Ripple, bitFlyer, Coinbase, Genesis Global Trading, BitPay, Square, and Coinsource. Essentially, only the wealthiest and most reputable companies have been able to obtain the Bitlicense. Smaller companies and individuals have not had success applying for the same rights to operate cryptocurrency businesses in New York.

Coinsource’s Bitlicense can be revoked at any time if owners do not follow strict anti-money laundering (AML) protocols, take active steps to prevent the Bitcoin they sell from being used for illegal activity or market manipulation, allow the New York Department of Financial Services to fully monitor their business activities, and properly protect consumers and resolve all customer complaints.

 

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Indian Police Raid the Nation’s Only Bitcoin ATM and Arrest Operator

The first Bitcoin ATM in India was revealed by Unocoin on 14 October 2018, despite the Reserve Bank Of India’s crackdown on Bitcoin. A mere 10 days later Indian police have raided the ATM, seizing the machine, 2 laptops, a mobile phone, 3 credit cards, 5 debit cards, a passport, 5 seals of the Unocoin company, USD 2,500 of Indian Rupees (INR), and they have arrested the Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Unocoin Harish BV. Indian police have stated that more arrests are likely.

Although cryptocurrency firms are banned from having bank accounts in India, and cryptocurrency has been declared not to be legal tender, it did not appear that there was anything illegal about operating a Bitcoin ATM. This is because a Bitcoin ATM that offers both buying and selling does not need a bank account since people who buy Bitcoin insert cash into the ATM, and people who sell Bitcoin withdraw cash from the ATM.

However, Indian police clearly disagree. A commissioner for the Bangalore Police, Alok Kumar, says “They [Unocoin] did not have any license from RBI, SEBI [Securities and Exchange Board of India] or any other agency to carry out the bitcoin transaction. They were running it without obtaining any trade license from the BBMP [Bangalore government]”. Police further warned citizens not to be enticed by the potential to make money by investing in crypto.

The CEO and Co-Founder of Unocoin, Sathvik Viswanath, rebukes the police saying “cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say ‘illegal tender’. There’s a huge difference. It means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry”. Therefore, Viswanath asserts that Indians can buy, sell, and own Bitcoin, and there is nothing wrong with a Bitcoin ATM.

There probably will not be Bitcoin ATMs in India for the foreseeable future due to this raid, which is unfortunate since Bitcoin ATMs are a burgeoning and proliferating business worldwide. There are currently 3,905 Bitcoin ATMs in the world and that number has been exponentially growing.

That being said, peer to peer Bitcoin and crypto trading is legal in India and has been flourishing, so there is no lack of crypto in India.

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