Bitcoin ATMs are growing in popularity. These devices let consumers buy and sometimes sell cryptocurrency in exchange for fiat currencies. An interesting battle is taking place where these devices are concerned. For the cryptocurrency industry, it is another positive sign of growth and maturity.
Bitcoin ATMs on the Rise
Thousands of Bitcoin ATMs can be found all over the world. Overall, there are 3,502 Bitcoin ATMs in the world, and 74 percent of them are located in the United States and Canada. Both markets are incredibly important for the cryptocurrency industry. In Europe, there’s also a notable increase in Bitcoin ATM activity. These machines provide an easy alternative to buying cryptocurrency.
An interesting trend has begun affecting these machines. Rather than just supporting Bitcoin, select altcoins can now be purchased as well. This often includes Ethereum and Litecoin, as well as Bitcoin Cash. A full 52 percent (1,846 in total) of all the Bitcoin ATMs support altcoins as well. It further confirms cryptocurrency is about much more than just Bitcoin. It’s not the only store of value or investment opportunity found in this booming industry.
Various manufacturers vie for the top spot in terms of market dominance. Bitcoin ATMs manufactured by General Bytes are very common as they’re the second largest manufacturer, lagging only behind Genesis Coin. EasyBit is also making its mark, as are Lamassu, Vault Logic, and other firms. Competition is a positive trend in any industry, especially where hardware manufacturing is concerned. All of these firms aim to bring more legitimacy to Bitcoin as a whole as well.
A New Economic Model
Another added benefit of Bitcoin ATMs is how they provide access to financial services. For some entrepreneurs and enthusiasts, these machines unlock a new economic model otherwise inaccessible to them. Even so, global adoption of cryptocurrencies is still proceeding at a slow pace.
One has to wonder who these Bitcoin ATMs are designed for exactly. They allow users to buy cryptocurrencies with ease, albeit at relatively high fees. It seems most of the teller machines cater to existing cryptocurrency users first and foremost. Getting the average person on the street excited about Bitcoin is a different matter altogether.
Until Bitcoin is understood properly, this industry will continue to grow slowly. The lack of proper Bitcoin regulation in most countries causes a lot of uncertainty.
However, some manufacturers are pushing the abilities of their ATMs beyond just simple buying and selling. Some ATMs now allow users to top up mobile cards and pay bills, and there are those that even accept third-party apps. Manufacturers believe that adding more services and ease-of-use will bring new people into the cryptocurrency fold. As Vault Logic CEO Doug Scribner says:
The beauty of cryptocurrencies is that you don’t have to trust a financial institution to back your wealth. Decentralization is the future, and regulation will eventually fall in line.
Do you use a cryptocurrency ATM? Let us know in the comments below.
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