A Bitcoin ATM is an internet interconnected kiosk that avails its user the power to buy Bitcoin with deposited equivalent currency, or sell Bitcoin. It is different from the traditional ATMs that are backed by banks or other financial institutions. Most people are of the idea that calling it an ATM is somewhat a misnomer because it is more like a machine connected to a cryptocurrency exchange platform through the internet. It doesn’t dispense cash but a customer can deposit cash to buy Bitcoin, but they are required to connect to their e-wallet first before any transaction is done. Most of the Bitcoin ATMs are highly secured, they require several security checks before a transaction can be approved. An example of this check is the two factor authentication where a customer is required to enter his phone number, after which a confirmation code is sent to the number. There is also the scan code security check built into the e-wallet app.
Bitcoin ATMS aren’t as widely spread as the traditional ATMs, they are mostly found in top cities in the world with good amount of data for citizens. The recent statistics revealed that there are currently over 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the world.
THE JOURNEY SO FAR
The first ever Bitcoin ATM in recorded history was installed by when Bitcoin was still in its infancy. It was installed in 2013 by Robocoin which by the way is now defunct. And since the first installation, many other companies have ventured into the Bitcoin ATM line of business. Coin ATM radar is a website that is used by customers to track the nearest ATMs to their location and according to their statistics, 4,060 ATMs are currently installed in over 66 countries around the world. On continental terms, North America controls over 71% of the Bitcoin ATM marjet, putting it at over 2883 Bitcoin ATMs installed. Europe which is the first runner up controls 23.7%, with the lowest continent being Africa with only 0.2% share; that is 81 Bitcoin ATMs installed.
However, when countries are considered, United States is on top of the food chain as it has installed ATMs that can rival with North America – 2,241 Bittcoin ATMs. Canada is next on the line with 619 Bitcoin ATMS. One major factor that has been leading to increase in Bitcoin ATMs is the competition that exists between different manufacturers of these machines, and it is currently getting tougher as I write. Genesis Coin is the number one manufacturer with over 31% market share index. General Bytes is second with 30% market share and Lamassu controls just 10.8% of the market share. The market is run like an enterprise. An individual can purchase Bitcoing ATM with the right investment put in place. The prices of these machines varies though, mostly dependent on the company that is producing it. For example, Robocoin Bitcoin ATM costs about $20,000 USD. Genesis Coin Bitcoin ATM will make your account a$14,500 USD lesser and Lamassu will cost about $4,000 USD.
In as much as new Bitcoin ATMs have seen growth in installation, data from Coin ATM radar also shows that some ATMs are being taken down. About 120 of such machines were closed in 2018 alone, mostly because of security threats.
PRICES OF BITCOIN AND BITCOIN ATMS
2018 was a generally a bad year for all cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin. But the relationship so far between the growth rate of Bitcoin ATMs installed across and the price of Bitcoin being volatile is a favorable one. This has somewhat proven that the whale investors in the cryptocurrency are confident of the future of Bitcoin. Also, the fact that these machines are actually called Bitcoin ATMs doesn’t necessary mean that it is limited to Bitcoin alone. Most of the machines are compatible with transactions that involve Litcoin and Etherum. Most experts claim that the increase in these machines has little to do with the price value, rather it borders more on the widespread of the goodnews of cryptocurrency and blockchain.Cryptocurrency has been tagged the future of the financial world, and blockchain is laced with more prospects than cryptocurrency itself. So, the more the global acceptance of cryptocurrency, irrespective of the price, the higher the number of ATMs installed.