Category Archives: United States Bitcoin ATM

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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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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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