Bitcoin ATMs, also known as BTMs, have began to appear in 5 cities, spanning 4 different continents. Of which include, New York, Dallas, Canberra, Johannesburg and Isle of Man. The new machines are expected to not only expand the convenience of using Bitcoin, but also expose consumers to the everyday use of the cryptocurrency.
The first BTMs appeared in Manhatten and Brooklyn, made by Lamassu costing $6,500, allows users to insert cash in exchange for bitcoins in their digital wallet. However, the machine does not work in reverse- the user currently cannot extract cash from their bitcoin wallet. This is expected to change. According to Zach Harvey, founder of Lamssu Company,
[…] That could change in the coming months, however, as Lamassu plans to release software that will let the machines exchange cyber currency for cash.”
Users of the machines have reported the ease and speed of the transaction, compared to having to conduct such transactions via the Internet. However, in exchange for this speed, there are transaction fees that account for 10% of the transaction value.
Marketing director for the BTM machines operator company PYC, Matt Russell, maintains that making Bitcoin accessible, usable and effortless is crucial to integrating it into daily life and widen the span of users. He claims,
We want Manhattan to be ‘Bitcoin Island.’ We want this whole island overflowing with our Bitcoin machines.”
The BTMs represent a major landmark for the Bitcoin movement, in that the establishment of these machines encourage the day to day use of Bitcoin at local retailers. The widespread nature of these BTMs represents the currency’s potential to become a globalized currency, should it achieve the acceptance it seeks from policy makers.
Read more here- “New Bitcoin ATMS: First Machines Invade NY, Dallas, South Africa,” (Bogdam Ulm, Cointelegraph)