In a move that appears to be a first, Coinsquare, with the aid of revolutionary software, would make the purchase of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies possible for millions of people via traditional Automated Teller Machines (ATMs).
Bitcoin Purchase Made Easy for Millions of Users
According to a press release on Wednesday (July 3, 2019), new software developed by fintech company, Just Cash, would upgrade traditional ATMs to enable the purchase of cryptocurrency.
Canadian-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, Coinsqaure, announced via the press release a controlling investment position in the fintech company. With this development, Just Cash would function under the cryptocurrency exchange platform.
Speaking on the benefits of the software, CEO of Coinsquare, Cole Diamond, noted that cryptocurrency adoption wasn’t widespread because of the complex process associated with purchasing the virtual currency.
However, by leveraging on the number of traditional ATMs globally, the use of the software would bring Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies closer to the people.
Diamond further states:
Bitcoin is new and unfamiliar to many, but ATMs are not. By tapping into the existing global ATM network, cryptocurrency can finally reach the masses. We are bringing that familiar and trusted process into the cryptocurrency world, and vice versa, for the first time.
In addition, the purchasing digital currency on these ATMs is relatively simple, as there is an absence of additional hardware or mobile application.
The Managing Partner and Co-founder of Just Cash, Todd Lawrence, also said that collaborating with Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency trading platform would ensure that the software is updated on millions of ATMs, thereby giving lots of users access to the upgraded ATMs.
Authorities: Bitcoin ATMs are Vehicles for Money Laundering
While Coinsquare is looking to make cryptocurrency accessible for millions of people, Vancouver is calling for the ban of Bitcoin ATMs. As Blockonomi reported in June 2019, Vancouver’s mayor, Kennedy Stewart, suggested a blanket ban on BTC ATMs.
Earlier, the city’s regulators passed a motion for the regulation and use of cryptocurrency ATMs, in a bid to avoid fraud. However, the Vancouver police are of the opinion that cryptocurrency and Bitcoin ATMs are perfect tools for money laundering and fraudulent activities.
In March 2019, the Calgary Police reported that placed four individuals in the “wanted list” for carrying out a Bitcoin fraud worth $200,000. According to reports, the Calgary police started investigations in 2018, after the four suspects over a ten-day period carried out about 112 fraudulent transactions using Bitcoin ATMs.
Although the suspects were still at large as at March 2019, the police state that the suspects targeted a Canadian bitcoin ATM company and carried out attacks in seven cities.
Outside Canada, there have also been reports of Bitcoin ATM scams. In 2018, some scammers posing as debt collectors in Australia deceived four victims into depositing over $50,000 in a Bitcoin ATM. The fraudsters threatened the victims with arrest if they failed to pay up their debts.
Crypto ATMs see tremendous Growth in Q2 2019
Regardless of the scams surrounding Bitcoin ATMs, the sector has grown tremendously since the installation of the first ATM in Vancouver, Canada, in 2013. According to data from Coinatmradar, the current number of BTC ATMs globally as at the time of writing is 5059.
North America continues to have the spotlight with 74.2%, followed by Europe with 22% and Asia way behind with 2.1%. South America and Asia are the continents with the lowest percentage of Bitcoin ATMs.
The data further shows that The United States is the country with the most BTC ATMs, with over 3000 locations. Canada is second highest with Bitcoin ATMs scattered in over 600 locations.
As reported by Blockonomi in January 2019, Bitcoin ATMs seemed to serve as a better alternative to banks.
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