went for a quick run down to a local convenient store the other day. To my surprise, I saw a Bitcoin ATM machine in one of the store corners. I remember seeing these machines in London, UK in 2012/2013. Back then, I did not know much about bitcoin. I recognized the logo and thought it was a gold coin shaped in that specific logo 😊 Well, I was not totally wrong as BTC is more valuable than gold and is rapidly considered as a store of value by many.
I was very curious on who would use these ATM machines. I asked the shop owner about the regular customers who use that machine and if she knew anything about that machine at all. As expected, she had no idea about BTC and cryptocurrency. She thought it was a bank that installed the machine in her shop. She gets paid for the space she provides to the institution. She noted that the volume is not great as there would be one or two random persons per day who would use the machine.
Out of curiosity, I checked the machine to see what coins I could buy. I was surprised to see that the machine gives you option to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Binance coin and Dogecoin. I am not sure if the coins can be updated as needed in the machine. It’s funny how popular dogecoin is among users if it is one of the four coins you can buy using ATM machines.
My eye balls went for a walk when I saw the price. The BTC price was listed at around 61K USD in the machine which was 8K more per BTC compared to the online market. Even the other three coins in the machine were listed for 20% more.
While returning home, I was still thinking about the use of those machines. Who would use Bitcoin ATMs when you have multiple exchanges providing options for potential users to bitcoin. I could not understand why would anyone buy BTC with that absurd pricing. More contemplation after and I think there are two main reasons someone would buy BTC through an ATM.
First, if someone is still outside of the traditional banking system then that would be an ideal option for them to buy bitcoin. All modern exchanges give you option to buy bitcoin using your traditional financial systems. Without a bank account, one cannot access those exchanges and buy any coins. So, the ATMs could be providing services to those individuals. Having said that, who in our world does not have a bank account and is aware about bitcoin and cryptocurrency?
Second, it may be used to avoiding tax and funding undocumented activities. Users do not need to submit KYC and can use cash to use those machines. Anyone can buy BTC and send funds to anyone using the wallet network.
I am still thinking the use. What do you think?
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