More and more Bitcoin ATMs are about to pop up in various locations all over the world. If you have to cash out your Bitcoin whenever you need to spend it, these machines make it easy to do so, while giving investors opportunity to develop a profitable infrastructure and giving merchants a first-adopter advantage.
When you wanted to acquire cryptocurrency or spend your altcoins in real world, without access to a Bitcoin ATM, you had to face a number of inconveniences. Obviously, you could buy Bitcoin online, however, it can be a long process with some exchanges requiring users to wait 3 business days for their money to go through.
Showing up at a trading event might be a solution, but definitely not when you need money on the spot. You could always try using a website like LocalBitcoins that allows you to search for someone nearby to meet up and trade, but that is also not a guarantee. Comparing all the methods of purchasing Bitcoin for your casual shopping, free methods included, using an ATM is relatively the most convenient method.
When Bitcoin ATMs have appeared, it was a pretty hefty investment for operators. The cost of hardware was US$20,000, then an additional US $25,000 to US $75,000 in "float," or cash to stock it. Therefore the fees for the transactions had to be huge to cover the investment. Now, US$999 is an average price tag for an crypto currency ATM on the market and continually some new ideas for lowering this cost are appearing (read more: First $150 Bitcoin ATM BitSell Created by Two High School Students).
Although purchasing Bitcoins through ATMs may seem inconvenient, the technological improvement involved is rapid and the industry is constantly working on accelerating the whole Bitcoin ATM experience and already the procedure got much simpler and affordable. Current machines make it easy for customers to buy and sell the cryptographic currency without dealing with the cumbersome online identity verification requirements of many online exchanges. This leads to a real Bitcoin ATMs Boom!
- Bitcoin ATM Cyprus
Arizona’s First Bitcoin ATM
Javelin Investments LLC can serve as example – it has launched Arizona's First Bitcoin ATM – one of around 145 bitcoin ATMs worldwide and about 25 in the U.S. The machine is located in Bookmans Entertainment Exchange at 3733 W. Ina Road. It accepts U.S. currency and credits the user’s “wallet” in bitcoins, or BTC, in whole or fractional amounts. The ATM, made by Portland, Ore.-based startup Skyhook, collects a fee of 5 percent over the current bitcoin value on Coinbase, a major bitcoin exchange, with a transaction limit of $500.
Brian Williams, Javelin owner, believes that this is his first foray in the market, and he is mainly using it to learn about the business. He is considering adding more machines at other Bookmans locations. He says:
“It’s a little bit of exploring it with this first one, I feel like a machine like this gives more access to bitcoins, so people can oftentimes have their first experience with bitcoin.”
The entrepreneur emphasized availability as the main factor of the success stating that “for the most part, it’s instantaneous like an email.”
For Bob Oldfather, owner of Bookmans it is not the first technological novelty available in his business. He said he has always been interested in emerging technologies, for which an example can be the electric-car chargers that he has installed at each of the six Bookmans locations in Tucson and the Phoenix area.
“For now we will have the ATM so that you can buy bitcoin for cash and get instant delivery,” Oldfather said. “In the future, Bookmans will be accepting this new currency at our registers as well.”
Unfortunately, according to the local online newspaper azcentral.com "the electricity in the air over Arizona's first bitcoin ATM proved too much for the machine, which was knocked out of commission after lightning struck."
Australia’s Capital gets an ATM
Canberra, which already has several cafes that accept the currency, now has got its own Bitcoin ATM machine thanks to Aussie Bitcoin ATM provider ABA Technology. The machine, located in the Canberra Centre, next to the 2nd floor food court in the upmarket Canberra Centre is company’s third ATM. ABA Technology director Robert Masters said the allows a new user to create an account within three to six minutes.
"It's done firstly by setting a phone number,'' Masters told reporters. ''It will send you a pin, you verify the pin, [and] it will then ask you for a fingerprint and eye scan. You can send money directly across the globe with no fees, it's instantly traceable and secure, and there's no bank or Western Union (type) intermediaries."
This will be the first opportunity for Canberrians to buy and sell the global crypto currency with the safety and convenience of transacting in a major retail shopping center.
ABA Technology's CEO Chris Guzowski told iTWire the bitcoin ATM has full encryption security in place to protect consumers and is compliant with international regulations concerning unlawful transactions. Guzowski is also describing the variety of the ATMs customers – from new users to savvy technologists.
“Our customer research shows that many people have been using the machine to send bitcoins to friends and family overseas. Many other users have been selling bitcoins and we have seen sales of $50 to $5000 of bitcoins.”
The company has the objective of releasing 100 bitcoin ATMs in Australia by 2015 and more than 500 globally by the end of 2016.
1,000 ATMs invading the US
A lot more new locations on the Bitcoin ATMs map will be added by BitXatm, which is planning to launch 1,000 Bitcoin machines. This Germany-based digital currency bitcoin ATM and point-of-sale (POS) solution provider has announced a new partnership that will let the company ship 1,000 units to the US in a bid to build the country’s largest bitcoin ATM network.
A partner for the company in the process will be Los Angeles-based CryptVision, a startup that itself is willing to build the largest network of bitcoin ATMs around the globe. As a result of the cooperation, CryptVision will become the exclusive provider of BitXatms in the US and Canada.
Meanwhile at The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC), BitXatm announced an upgrade to its Sumo Pro ATM product.
Sergey Yesayan, president of CryptVision, assumes the move will find the new company moving quickly to gain a foothold in the crypto currency market. He said in a statement:
“In terms of positioning our products all over the country, we’re planning to have most of them in place by the end of the year, and are looking for location partners in shopping malls, restaurants and night clubs.”
Yesayan said that the bitcoin ATM units, treated as vending machines and managed the associated financial responsibilities and licensing, will be available for free to qualified operators, with the qualification process for operators beginning July 25.
BitXatms can accept and dispense any digital currency and offers a web-based back end that allows operators to manage profits, cash flow and to change settings on the ATM remotely. The company said it will continue to provide support for its ATMs to CryptVision once the units are deployed.
First ATM in Regina, Canada
When it comes to Canada and ATMs, Vancouver is certainly king. But now, Regina is the latest city to receive its first-ever Bitcoin ATM, which was unveiled on Thursday at Triffon’s Pizza on Kramer Boulevard in Regina as well. Saskatchewan’s first Bitcoin ATM was launched earlier this year in Saskatoon, and there are plans for three more machines in Regina over the next few months.
Bitcoin ‘vending machines’ arrive in Isle of Man
The Isle of Man has been aggressively positioning itself as a Bitcoin haven recently. So it comes as no surprise that we could be seeing new Bitcoin ATMs on the Isle of Man very soon after a local company received its first shipment of the units.The countertop machines, operated by Manx-registered firm Qwikbit, will allow users of digital currencies to make on-the-spot exchanges of cash for Bitcoins.
Stan Ho, chief operating officer of QwikBit, said:
“Qwikbit has been liaising with the Financial Supervision Commission regarding our launch. Once we have the green light, we’ll install a number of automatic vending machines in the Isle of Man, and then roll out the rest of this batch in the UK.”
Charlie Woolnough, chairman of the Manx Digital Currency Association, stated:
“The arrival of the Qwikbit automatic vending machines is another step forward in making Bitcoin more accessible to the general public and establishing the Isle of Man as a domicile of choice for crypto-currency businesses.”
These are just some of the new additions to a global phenomenon that is spreading rapidly as demand for Bitcoin increases.