As bitcoins have gained in popularity, the ways in which consumers can procure and use them have gained in popularity, as well. Earlier this year, bitcoin ATMs were launched in Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Finland, and many other locations.
In September, it was announced that residents of New Hampshire in the US would be able to convert cash to bitcoins using a new ATM to be placed in the state. 1
The new machines, referred to as Bitcoin Teller Machines or BTMs, require that users place bills into the machine and then select whether they wish to send the amount of their bitcoins to their mobile device or receive a piece of paper that reflects the amount. In New Hampshire, BTMs differ from traditional ATMs in that they do not use a credit card or debit card. Due to the fact that bitcoin values fluctuate according to the market, Bitcoin Teller Machines must be set on a daily basis.
While New Hampshire Business Review reports that the state is one of the few that has taken a favorable position when it comes to bitcoin, other reports indicate that as many as 1,000 BTMs could be in place in the United States and Canada within the next year. BitXatm, a company passed in Munich is already working with CryptVision of California to distribute the machines. Unlike the machines in New Hampshire, the BitXatm machines, known as Sumo Pros, are more flexible in terms of options. Users are able to make choices regarding which digital and fiat currency they wish to use.
Bitcoin ATMs have already popped up in cities such as Tucson, San Francisco, Helsinki, London, and Tokyo. Until the appearance of these BTMs, average citizens could experience challenges in obtaining bitcoins. One option was to purchase the digital currency online using an exchange, but that necessitated verifying banking information. With the rise of BTMs, it is now possible for the average Joe to simply walk up to a machine and purchase currency.
Businesses have found that there are certainly many advantages to installing bitcoin ATMs in their establishments. Each time that a business accepts a credit card from a customer to pay for a transaction, there is a charge. With the growth of bitcoin ATMs, businesses have found there to be numerous incentives to accepting the digital currency, including lower transaction fees.
Proponents believe that the emergence of bitcoin ATMs represents a massive step toward making the digital currency more mainstream as well as more widely available outside the web. While bitcoin ATMs have been growing in popularity, compared to traditional financial terminals, they are still significantly outnumbered. Recent reports have indicated that BTMs are coming, but many developers feel that the best way to close the gap could be to convert existing ATMs to handle bitcoins rather than building new units.
This is precisely what Bitcoin Romania is already doing. The company, which operates one of the world's busiest machines, has recently partnered with CoinTrader, an exchange based in Vancouver. Through this partnership, they have been able to integrate with terminals that are operated by ZebraPay. Currently, more than 1,000 units are in operation in Eastern and Central Europe. These units make it possible for users to pay utility and telephone bills, insurance, purchase airline tickets, buy gift carts, and more. Individuals who do not have home computers find this solution to be a convenient option. The entire process is fairly straightforward.
The first cashless bitcoin ATM was launched in Queensland, Australia. The machine does not accept or dispense banknotes. Rather, in order to open an account, users instead purchase an NFC-enabled bitcoin debit card. The cost of the card is 5 Australian dollars. Users of the machine may also purchase bitcoins to put on their bitcoin card using a credit card. The machine will also allow return customers to check their balance or top up a card. Linked to credit cards at local exchange rates, the debit cards make it possible for users to make instant purchases from any location. In this regard, the card appeals to the general public as well as travelers.
In the future, the machine may make it possible for money transfers to be completed. With the addition of that feature, users of the ATM will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to send bitcoins to recipients via SMS.
Around the world, the demand for digital currency has surged. Many countries are now actively seeking methods for quickly and easily buying and selling bitcoins in a manner that is safe and secure. As bitcoin ATMs continue to gain ground in North America as well as the rest of the world, the digital currency is well on its way to becoming more and more mainstream.
1) Bitcoin ATMs coming soon to New Hampshire.