Post author Artem Semenov, 04.09.2018
What are Bitcoin ATMs and why they make governments nervous?

The recent report published by MarketsandMarkets predicts a significant growth of the Bitcoin ATM market. At the same time, Simex reported on confiscation of at least 22 Bitcoin ATMs by police in Russia at the end of August. SIMEX explains what is a Bitcoin ATM and why everyone talks about these terminals. 

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATM is a machine which allows to buy and sell bitcoins. Currently, there are more than 3500 crypto ATMs in the world and the number is growing rapidly. Approximately, half of these ATMs operate not only with bitcoin but with ltcoin, litecoin, ether as well.  Cryptomat's operator takes a fee for the exchange. According to coinatmradar.com, the average fee for buying cryptocurrency is about 8.85%. 

"THE VALUE OF THE GLOBAL CRYPTOMAt MARKET WILL HIT $144.5 MILLION BY 2023"

The majority of Bitcoin ATMs (62.5%) allows buying cryptocurrency for fiat, while the remaining have both a buy and sell function. The functionality and capabilities of the cryptomats are constantly enhanced: producers add QR code scanners and paper receipt printers. 
Basically, bitcoin ATMs look like normal ATMs and located in the trade centres, shops or simply on the streets. 

Bitcoin ATM market forecast

MarketsandMarkets predicts a boom in the Bitcoin ATM market. Currently, the Bitcoin ATM market stands at $16,3 million. It is expected that in the five-year perspective (2018-2023) the market can grow by 50% each year and the total value of the global cryptomat market will hit $144.5 million by 2023. 

How governments perceive Bitcoin ATMs?  

In general, crypto ATMs have no problems with national governments in western countries. The majority of cryptocurrency exchange machines are located in the USA and Canada: 2089 and 564. 
Nevertheless, some governments are worried about the growing market of the unregulated transactions. On August 31, more than 20 Bitcoins ATMs were confiscated by police in Russia. 

According to RBK, a Russian business newspaper, the police operation was triggered by the recommendation of the Bank of Russia (Central Bank). The Central Bank of Russia is concerned about the possibility of the unregulated conversions of cryptocurrencies in fiat and opportunity to cash out Bitcoins in roubles. According to coinatmradar.com, there are 80 Bitcoin ATMs in Russia. 

Simex Team

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