Bitcoin machines are not ATM’s in the traditional sense and probably use the wording ATM as a neologism. Bitcoin kiosks are machines which are connected to the Internet, allowing the insertion of cash in exchange for bitcoins given as a paper receipt or by moving money to a public key on the blockchain. They look like traditional ATMs, but Bitcoin kiosks do not connect to a bank account and instead connect the user directly to a Bitcoin exchange. According to an advisory issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “they may also charge high transaction fees – media reports describe transaction fees as high as 7% and exchange rates $50 over rates you could get elsewhere”.
BitcoinATM is a specialized piece of equipment that functions similar to a traditional ATM, but with added functionality that makes it function more like a physical exchange. There are multiple types machines, but they are generally broken down as 1 way or 2 way machines. 1 way machines, or Kiosks, allow for the insertion of cash and withdrawal of Bitcoin only. 2 way machines generally function as a full exchange, allowing for conversion between both fiat to bitcoin or bitcoin to fiat.
Different BitcoinATM manufacturers and operators choose different levels of AML/KYC requirements depending on their own needs and the jurisdiction of the physical placement of the BitcoinATM.
BitcoinATM360 was the first company to provide enterprise services for BitcoinATM operators as well as selling new and used units from various manufacturers.
On October 29, 2013, a Robocoin machine opened in the Waves coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Canada. This machine is understood to be the world’s first publicly available bitcoin machine. Robocoin ceased operations in January 2016. Some Robocoin machines have since then been converted to run other software. The first machine in the United States went online on February 18, 2014, in a cigar bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was removed 30 days later. In late 2013, The D Casino install the first Bitcoin ATM in a casino in Las Vegas. A New Zealand bitcoin machine operator announced in 2014 they had to shut-down operations due to interference with banks. In 2014 a former Robocoin operator in the UK hacked its bitcoin ATMs to run on software from rival manufacturer Lamassu.
Technology of use
First of all, Bitcoin ATMs are intended to the exchange of cash for cryptocurrencies, however a part of machines (about 30%) also offer the possibility to withdraw cryptocurrencies in cash. In some cases the users are required to have an exiasting user account to carry out transactions.
Bitcoin ATMs are machines that are connected to the Internet, which allows putting in cash in exchange for between cryptocurrencies, the amount of which is given in a paper invoice. At that, they take a transaction fee. On average, it makes out 8.89% for a purchase and 6.45% for a sale (as of 19.11.2017).
Types of BitcoinATM
BitAccess BTM offers full 2 way functionality in a form factor very similar to traditional ATMs. Has configurable AML/KYC systems that can be determined by the operator.
Lamassu was an early 1 way machine that has an add-on base that extends the functionality to being 2 way. Often cited for its clean design and simple usage.
Genesis Coin has built a 1 way (Satoshi1) and 2 way (Genesis1) BitcoinATMs based on existing ATM hardware.
General Bytes has a very easy interface and small form factor that allows it to be used almost anywhere.
Skyhook is an open source commercial one way Bitcoin ATM for everyone, priced at 999.- USD.
What currencies can be exchanged in Bitcoin ATM
Operations with Bitcoin are possible on all Bitcoin ATMs. However, 555 machines (30.3%) also assume operations with Altcoin (as of 19.11.2017). Also with Litecoin – 521 machines (28.4%), with Ether – 235 (12.8%), with Dash– 112 (6.1%), with Bitcoin Cash – 24 (1.3%), with Dogecoin – 6 (0.3%), with Zcash – 2 (0.1%)
Operators of Bitcoin ATM
On the world market, 802 machines are installed and supported by the American company Genesis Coin. On the second place is the operator General Bytes from the Czech Republic (499 machines). The three is closed by the Lamassu Company (296).
The operators of Bitcoin ATM need to correct the restrictions to the limit of withdrawing funds according to AML / KYC standards, accepted in the jurisdiction, within which their ATMs are placed. In some countries / states a remittance license is required for this .
Bitcoin ATMs were reported by Brian Krebs in 2016 to be rising in popularity for money muling, a type of money laundering where money is moved out of banks to extorters.
Geography of Bitcoin ATMs
Almost two-thirds of all Bitcoin ATMs are installed in North America: 1055 function in the USA, 281 – in Canada. 393 machines or 21% account for Europe (94 in Britain, 93 in Austria, 36 in Spain, 22 in Finland and Switzerland etc.). Only 49 machines account for Asia, including 11 in Japan, 10 in Hong Kong, 4 in Vietnam, 3 in Singapore and so on.
Bitcoin machines are not yet regulated in Canada, however regulations have been officially proposed for all bitcoin exchangers. In February, 2014, the Canadian Finance Minister mentioned plans to introduce anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations for virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
According to Coin ATM Radar, there are more than 800 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States as of 2017, with small shop owners earning a reported $300 a month for rental space. Transactions fees for ATM use are approximately 16 percent, while online transaction fees run about 7.5 percent.
In Russia, 6 Bitcoin ATMs are opened, all of them are located in Novosibirsk. They function only for purchasing Bitcoin, the commission is 4%.
The machine is operated by the Albvision Group, the publication reported, adding that it has been placed in the center of Pristina, the capital and largest city of Kosovo. Founded in 2000 in Kosovo with 54 employees currently, the group provides professional and strategic services, operating in sectors such as information and security systems, banking, energy, and telecommunications. According to Coinatmradar, the machine is located at “Qyteza Pejton, Str. Lorenc Antoni 31, Prishtina, Kosovo.”
The Bitcoin ATM news came shortly after the Central Bank of Kosovo issued a statement warning citizens about the use of digital currencies in the country. Some commercial banks, such as TEB Bank and Raiffeisen Bank, have also declared that they do not deal with digital currencies, according to the news portal Fol Drejt! Ilirjana Tahiraj of Raiffeisen Bank told the publication that the bank does not accept bitcoin transfers.
In 2017, Kosovo imported equipment worth 800,000 euros which went towards the production or assembly of bitcoin mining devices, according to Kosovo Customs spokesperson Adriatik Stavileci.
In a press release distributed in Kosovo and Albania on July 17, the company said that Tirana and Skopje will be the next two destinations where these kinds of ATMs will be placed.
Bitcoin ATM operators need to adjust the limits on deposits and withdrawals according to Anti-money laundering/Know your customer (AML/KYC) standards applicable in the jurisdiction where their ATMs are placed. In some countries / states this requires a money transmitter license.