Bitcoin ATMs - A hype or the future?
-by Irene Varghese and Shivani Aggarwal
Human race has seen drastic change in the money system, from barter system to physical currencies and now the much talked about crypto currencies - Bitcoins for example. If estimates are to be believed, then the number of active bitcoin users worldwide will reach more than 4 million by the end of 2019. If cash gets replaced by Bitcoin, then why not Cash ATMs by Bitcoin ATMs?
Jargonized Bitcoin ATMs, provide an efficient and secure way for people to exchange bitcoins - the decentralized digital currency - for cash without the need for a humans to facilitate the transaction through bitcoin exchanges - which faces hacking and fraud threats. The world's first-ever Bitcoin ATM was opened in Canada, in Oct 2013, by Robocoin - enabling Bitcoin owners to exchange the digital currency for cash, and vice versa!
Bitcoin ATMs are gaining popularity, with the number of Bitcoin ATMs going upto 400, registering impressive growth in 2014. North America is leading with more than 130 machines installed throughout the U.S., and 69 machines in Canada.
Bitcoin ATMs are worthwhile mainly because they make peer-to-peer, decentralized currency, online money transmission easy and in a near instant exchange time - taking less than a minute! Moreover, facilitates anonymity by allowing you to convert directly from cash to Bitcoin -- without attaching a bank account or identity credentials. Only a biometric palm identification is required, which is easy, quick, and at the same time, a unique identity confirmation. For consumers who want to use crypto currency right away to make purchases, buying Bitcoin through an ATM involves much less time and risk! Bitcoin ATMs also assist tourists' withdrawal of cash in native cash at competitive rates, without needing a bank account or ATM card.
Peeping into the days ahead, Bitcoin ATMs look promising for a cashless future, as they may prove to be the most useful tool in enabling cross-border e-commerce especially for the under-banked parts of the world! Robocoin has very recently released a second-generation Bitcoin wallet, which facilitates instant person-to-person money transfers. Consumers can send money on one end, and a consumer at the other end can withdraw it from a Bitcoin ATM even in under-banked parts of the world!
When crypto currency as a concept succeeds, ATMs will become incredibly opportune and a simple way for mainstream consumers to exchange cash for crypto currency. Thus, Bitcoin ATMs definitely have a future - promising truly hassle-free money transactions.