Why the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in the world is growing
The growing demand for cryptocurrencies has led to a rapid increase in the number of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin-ATMs appear all over the world, though the attitude of the authorities towards them is not always positive.
From 2018 to 2019, the number of Bitcoin-ATMs (ATMs designed to
exchange fiat money for cryptocurrencies and vice versa - ed.) increased by almost 300%. Currently, according to Coin ATM Radar, there are over 6,000 machines in the world. The United States is the leader in the number of ATMs, and Canada is in second place, with Britain closing the top three.
Most Bitcoin ATMs are located in large stores or shopping centres. Retailers do not receive direct profit from their installation, at the same time, however, they rely on people who use the devices to buy products in stores. Increasing customers’ loyalty and attracting additional financial flows is one of the main goals of store owners, and that’s why they are willingly install such units at their stores.
Increased demand for Bitcoin ATMs
Most importantly, Bitcoin ATMs allow small traders and individuals to trade cryptocurrencies without using Internet services. Devices provide the security of transactions, which attracts users.
In London alone, more than 150 BTC-ATMs are currently installed. According to statistics, in the eastern part of the city, crypto machines are used to trade digital coins 30 to 40 times a day.
“Over the past year, in our country we have witnessed the rapid growth in the popularity of bitcoin, and as a result, in our equipment. In London, especially in the eastern part, we note a great interest in installing ATMs at retail outlets on the part of retailers. They realise that in this way they can direct additional traffic to their stores,” said Landry Ntache, founder and CEO of BCB ATM, to EastLondonLines.
According to experts, the
cryptocurrency market will continue to grow as cryptocurrencies increase in popularity. Profiting from trading in digital assets is also of interest to users, and specialized ATMs allow you to do this as safely as possible.
Why are ATMs dangerous for fiscals?
Despite the fact that the public shows a desire to use bitcoin ATMs, not all states are loyal to this area. At the end of November, the head of the criminal investigation department of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS), John Fort, said that Bitcoin-ATM could potentially be used for illegal activities. The official also noted that his team is working with law enforcement to prevent frauds.
Cryptanalyst Boris Grigoryan believes that in this case, the distribution of ATMs will only be in the hands of law enforcement and tax officials. The manufacturers of these devices implement different identification methods (ID, SMS, etc.), which excludes any kind of fraud. However, the expert underlined that, on the other hand, the question arises: Do all operators use such opportunities?
“It all depends on local laws and regulations in this area. So, I don’t see a big threat to the US tax system,” added Grigoryan.
BlockchainLab managing partner and
Blockchain Lab Hackathon founder Stanislav Podyachev stressed that it is difficult to comment on the actions of US authorities. However, he is confident that cryptocurrencies in general pose a threat to the power of officials and bankers, like most new technologies.
“Automated terminals for the cryptocurrencies sale contribute to its mass distribution, and the existing legislation on combating money laundering by terminal owners is fully respected,” Podyachev said.
Igor Porokh, analyst and trader at iTuber, in turn, believes that ATMs can not do much harm to the IRS of the US. According to the expert, the government is simply worried that the development of the digital era is happening faster than it can fully control and manage it.
“The government should worry, because the Libra project will soon be open to an average Facebook user, and the digital revolution will be even closer to any person. Everything will be clear here, accessible, legal for people and, most importantly, transparent, ” the trader believes.
Given that most crypto machines are located exactly in the United States, it is likely that the actions of the IRS can cause serious damage to the entire industry. However, at the moment there were no reports of radical measures taken by the state agency.
Spanish police disapprove
Spain is also among the countries that are hostile to Bitcoin-ATMs. Local police in early July called the ATMs "a hole in European anti-laundering practices." They came to this conclusion during the investigation related to the laundering of money from the drug trade through digital coins.
Police claimed the suspects used 9 companies to transfer more than 9 million euros that they received from drug smuggling from Colombia and other countries. According to law enforcers, bitcoin ATMs plays the key role in the money laundering scheme.
In Ukraine, users have been able to buy bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies for a long time, however, other methods have been used for doing that.
“In Ukraine, since 2013, bitcoins can be bought for
cash hryvnias in more than 30,000 terminals through a special service. In part, this helped Ukraine to become one of the world leaders in the distribution of cryptocurrencies,” Stanislav Podyachev said.
As for Bitcoin-ATM directly, Ukraine is not a leader in their use and is unlikely to become one in the near future.
Igor Porokh stated that there are crypto machines in our country, but they are used by a very narrow audience.
In turn, Boris Grigoryan believes that bitcoin ATMs are quite convenient, especially for those who are just starting to use digital coins.
“In general, there is a boom in crypto machines around the world, however, more than half of all machines are in the United States. Ukraine is not the leader in terms of quantity, but I think it is a matter of time. I do not expect a sharp jump in the number of crypto machines in Ukraine, but I’m sure that there will be more of them in future” the expert said.
At the moment, our country is on the path to the legalization of cryptocurrencies and it is likely that this asset will soon become more accessible to a wide range of users. Interest in cooperation with Ukraine is already shown by large foreign crypto-exchanges. This can be a solid tool for expanding the cryptocurrency ATM network in the country.