Bitcoin ATM machines have appeared in several gas stations in Montana. A unique ATM machine, where customers can buy and sell digital currency. One can even withdraw cash from some of the machines.
Bitcoin ATM machines have multiplied rapidly through the United States over the past year. Driven by the hype in crypto trading that pushed bitcoin prices to several all-time highs.
Executives from CoinFlip and Coin Cloud said that they have installed thousands of ATM machines. Mark Shoiket, Quad Coin founder, flew to Montana after skimming through the US map for potential locations. Shoiket was expecting its high demand and that people wanted bitcoin anywhere. In a week-long trip, he spotted seven potential locations to install the machines across Montana.
According to an independent research site howmanybitcoinatms.com, there were around 28,185 bitcoin ATM machines in the United States. Around 10,000 of them were installed during the last five months.
Bitcoin popularity drives Bitcoin ATM machines expansion
The growing popularity of Bitcoin is what drives the expansion of ATM machines. There are varied reasons why people prefer using ATM machines instead of transacting online. Some find it more convenient, others have no bank accounts, while others prefer interacting with a physical machine. Some may not be as techy as others in transacting online using smartphones or laptops.
A 51-year-old bitcoin investor from the Pittsburgh area, Rebecca White, makes online transactions for bigger investments. But she also uses ATM machines whenever her family has extra cash. Like having extra cash after buying stuff from the store, she would stop by the bitcoin ATM for transactions.
There are ATM machines offering the only bitcoin, but there are machines capable of transacting several digital currencies. Few ATM machines, however, offer cash withdrawal, and they charge more than the regular bank ATMs.
Transaction fees vary accordingly
The transaction fees range from 6% to 20%, says Pamela Clegg. She is the director of financial investigations and education at cryptocurrency compliance firm CipherTrace. Clegg further explains that the fees vary according to the location and Bitcoin ATM operators. In spite of that, Clegg was surprised by the rapid growth of ATM machines. The growth of 45% is quite astounding, says Clegg.
Some government agencies have warned the public about some machines charging high fees. The New Jersey State Commission of Investigation considers some ATM machines as scams, having suspicious transactions and questionable practices. And yet these ATM machines continue their expansions.
According to the online map by Coin ATM Radar, there are currently bitcoin ATM machines in almost every state. Only Alaska and Washington, D.C. states are left with it.
Coin Cloud has installed 1,470 ATM machines across the United States and is targeting up to 10,000 machines by year-end. This is according to Coin Cloud CEO Chris McAlary. Uncertainty though is recognized as the pandemic continues to affect the businesses. But when stimulus payments came out, it actually helped a lot. Many people use the stimulus fund they received in buying digital currencies, McAlary added.
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