Today, November 26, 2015, Finnish leading Bitcoin companies Bittiraha.fi and Bitcoinkaupat.com opened the first Bitcoin ATM in the largest shopping centre of Finnish capital. The Bitcoin ATM (BTM) network building is not just a hobby for Bitcoin companies in Nordic countries, now they make serious steps to make Helsinki the Bitcoin capital of Europe.
Today citizens and guests of the capital have the opportunity to buy and sell Bitcoin using a new two-way BTM located on the second floor of the Itis shopping centre in East Helsinki.
"Itis is one of the highest profile locations possible where you can install a Bitcoin ATM,” wrote Bitcoinkaupat.com's Aleksi Vitakoski in the official press release. “If my hunch is right, this will be a big step in making Helsinki the Bitcoin capital of Europe."
Nordic countries show their growing interest in Blockchain technologies and Finland is a top-3 country per capita in Bitcoin usage globally. With the new Bitcoin ATM in Itis both companies hope for more merchants to begin accepting Bitcoin in the nearby area.
Henry Brade, a Founder of Bittiraha.fi commented on the launch of the new Bitcoin ATM to Cointelegraph:
“Our network is profitable right now and we are impressed by the progress. There is growth and we have achieved decent ROI. It was more of a hobby business for us before but it is getting more serious.”
Bittiraha.fi is the leading Bitcoin service provider in the Finnish market with about 1 million euro worth of Bitcoin transactions per month, offering cryptocurrency buy and sell option via bank transfers. Moreover, it offers bill and wage payments with bitcoins.
According to Henry Brade the new BTM is the 2nd two-way machine in Bittiraha.fi network and they have additional 7 one-way machines. Their first 2-way BTM was installed in the most popular mall in Finland – Kamppi in December 2014.
“In Helsinki we have 4 machines and one in Espoo which is also part of the "capital area”. We are soon going to install one more one-way in Northern Finland which will make our whole network 10 BTM's,” said Henry Brade.
“The biggest challenge is getting major malls and other high level locations to take a Bitcoin ATM. Lots of work. As there is still so much Bitcoin skepticism going around. We probably get five "hell no's" before we get one neutral answer. And then only some of the neutral's go all the way to contract stage. But on a positive note, it has been getting A LOT better. We now have the most popular mall in Finland – Kamppi and now Itis which is the biggest in size. It should be easier to get more good locations now.”
Bitcoin startup Bitcoinkaupat.com was founded in 2014 and became the leading provider of Bitcoin payment services in Finland. It offers services for easy and risk-free Bitcoin Payments integration for both large and small companies.
Speaking about their competitors in Bitcoin ATM industry in Scandinavian countries Henry Brade mentioned: “There is one competing ATM operator with 3 BTM's in total and 2 of them in Helsinki. The other competitor is LocalBitcoins trading of course. We are clearly the market leader in Finnish cash and bitcoin trade.”