Bitcoin ATMs are very popular
Bitcoin ATMs are very popular

A new feature has been introduced at cigarette stores in Montana and gas stations in Carolina and New York: a Bitcoin ATM where customers can buy or sell digital currencies.

In the past year, the number of devices in the US has rapidly doubled due to the cryptocurrency craze, pushing the bitcoin price up to over $ 58,000.

Kiosk operators such as CoinFlip and Coin Cloud have installed thousands of ATMs in areas competitors have yet to reach, executives told Reuters.

"There is a high demand for Bitcoin and people want Bitcoin everywhere," said Mark Schwicket, Founder of Quad Coin ATM for Bitcoin.

There were 28,185 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States as of January, and nearly 10,000 machines were installed in the past five months.

Bitcoin's growing popularity has been the main driving force behind new devices, and people are using ATMs rather than online transactions for a variety of reasons.

Some people pay cash, others do not have a bank account, others want to send money abroad or remain anonymous, while others prefer to use an actual machine.

Some devices only offer Bitcoin, while others allow customers to invest in various digital currencies.

Few Bitcoin ATMs can cash out and cost more than regular ATMs or online transactions.

Fees make up from 6% to 20% of the total volume of transactions and vary by location and ATM operator.

Due to the cost of some devices and potential illegal activity, government agencies have issued warning signals.

The New Jersey Commission of Inquiry detailed some of these issues in its February report, "Fraud, Suspicious Transactions, and Suspicious Currency Kiosk Practices."

These concerns have not stopped the industry from developing. Now all states except Alaska and Washington, D.C. have Bitcoin ATMs.

Coin Cloud has as many as 1,470 machines in the US and is expected to have 10,000 by the end of this year.

While people fear the outbreak will harm businesses, the flow of people has risen sharply during the lockdown.

CoinFlip increased its ATM footprint from 420 last year to 1800. During this time, the volume of transactions per ATM nearly tripled.

CoinFlip charges around 6.99% of customers to purchase cryptocurrencies and 4.99% of customers.

In the past year, Bitcoin Depot has also increased the number of devices from 500 to more than 1,800. Most customers are between 25 and 40 years old. These machines can be found by searching online.

Last summer, when demand soared, General Bytes, which makes Bitcoin ATMs, was temporarily unavailable.

The company sold 3,000 machines last year, 90% of them in North America.

Not all devices are profitable, and Quad Coin removed around 200 installed devices in the last year because they had not been profitable for six months.

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