Bitcoin ATMs rising in number

Foto

With the popularity of bitcoins in the recent past, a new feature has appeared at smoke shops in Montana, gas stations in the Carolinas and delis in far off corners of New York City: a brightly-lit bitcoin ATM, where customers can either buy or sell digital currency, and sometimes extract hard cash.

The machines have multiplied quickly through the United States over the past year, powered by a craze in crypto trading that sent bitcoin prices over $60,000. As of January, there were 28,185 bitcoin ATMs in the United States. Roughly 10,000 came within the prior five months.

It has been observed that bitcoin’s growing popularity has been the primary driver for new installations. The reasons people use ATMs rather than transacting online differ. Some get paid in cash, whereas some lack bank accounts, and yet others want to send remittances abroad or want anonymity, while another section feels more comfortable interacting with a physical machine.

Some machines only offer bitcoin, while others let customers invest in various digital currencies. Few bitcoin ATMs can actually spit out cash, and they cost more than regular ATMs or transacting online. Fees range from 6 per cent to 20 per cent of a total transaction. Fees vary depending on the location and Bitcoin ATM operator.