Cyptocurrency trading frenzy fuels boom of Bitcoin ATMs in parts of US



A new feature has appeared at smoke shops in Montana, gas stations in the Carolinas and delis in far-flung corners of New York City: A brightly-lit ATM, where customers can buy or sell digital currency, and sometimes extract hard cash.

The machines have multiplied quickly through the over the past year, fueled by a frenzy in crypto trading that sent prices over $58,000.


Kiosk operators such as CoinFlip and Coin Cloud have installed thousands of ATMs, scouring areas competitors have not yet reached, executives told Reuters. “I just assumed there was demand and people wanted everywhere,” said Quad Coin founder Mark Shoiket, who flew to Montana after scanning a US map for bitcoin ATM deserts.

During a week-long road trip, he found seven places to install machines, including 406 Glass, a store in Billings, Montana, that sells tobacco, vape juice and colorful glass pipes.

As of January, there were 28,185 bitcoin in the United States, according to howmanybitcoinatms.com, an independent research site. Roughly 10,000 came within the prior five months.

Bitcoin’s growing popularity has been the primary driver for new installations.

The reasons people use rather than transacting online vary. Some get paid in cash, some lack bank accounts, some want to send remittances abroad or want anonymity, while feel more comfortable interacting with a physical machine.

Rebecca White, a 51-year-old bitcoin investor who lives in the Pittsburgh area, makes larger investments online and uses bitcoin when her family has extra money.

“When we do our grocery shopping and we have $60 left, I will stop at the bitcoin ATM,” said White, who works in the nuclear power industry.

Some machines only offer bitcoin, while let customers invest in various digital currencies.

Few bitcoin ATMs can actually spit out cash, and they cost more than regular ATMs or transacting online.

Fees range from 6 per cent to 20 per cent of a total transaction, said Pamela Clegg, director of financial investigations and education at cryptocurrency compliance firm CipherTrace. Fees vary depending on the location and Bitcoin ATM operator.

Musk’s new title: ‘Technoking’

Tesla added “Technoking of Tesla” to billionaire Chief Executive Elon Musk’s list of official titles on Monday in a formal regulatory filing that also named finance chief Zachary Kirkhorn “Master of Coin”. The electric-car maker did not elaborate on the reasons for the cryptic new titles in a pair of statements that also said President of Automotive Jerome Guillen had moved to the role of President for Tesla Heavy Trucking, effective March 11. Last month, Tesla revealed it had purchased $1.5 billion of bitcoin and would soon accept it as a form of payment for cars.Reuters

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