All posts by CoinATMRadar

How to Buy Bitcoins from ATM to Mobile Bitcoin Wallet

One of the most confusing parts of buying bitcoins from ATM is understanding how the coins get transferred to your control. This is especially confusing for new users and first-time buyers.

This post will aim to help make this process more clear for you before you make your way to a bitcoin ATM.

In most cases, ATMs ask you to scan a QR code of a Bitcoin address. This is where the bitcoins will be delivered to after you deposit cash. So, all you really need to do is figure out how to access the receive screen of your wallet that shows a Bitcoin address and corresponding QR code. We’ll show you how to do this using 2 iOS wallets and 2 Android wallet as examples. Even if the wallet you use isn’t featured in this post, know that the process will be very similar.

Mobile Wallets for iOS

Breadwallet

breadwallet

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Bitcoin ATM Market Dynamics May 2017

May 2017 was a great month for all cryptocurrencies growth. Bitcoin also grew substantially in price ($2400 at the end of May).

Bitcoin price May 2017

This has driven a lot of new demand and new users to cryptocurrency world. New traffic to existing bitcoin ATMs incentivized new installations. Here is the stats for May 2017:

Period Start: 1158, Period End: 1236
Open: 95, Closed: 17, Net Growth: +78 (+6.7%)

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Los Angeles Bitcoin ATM Network

Los Angeles is a conglomerate of various bitcoin ATMs, which are operated by plenty of different operators. If you are in any district of the city, it is likely there will be a bitcoin ATM nearby.

Find all bitcoin ATM locations in Los Angeles.

Bitcoin ATM in Los Angeles

Los Angeles currently has 80 bitcoin ATMs installed. After NY with 86 machines, LA is the second largest conglomerate with respect to number of installed bitcoin machines.

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Bitcoin ATM Market Dynamics April 2017

During April 2017 bitcoin continued to increase in price, and reached ATH ~$1400 by the end of the month.

Bitcoin price April 2017
Blockchain.info Bitcoin price chart

Such price increase definitely led to hype in bitcoin demand. As bitcoin ATMs are one of the easiest ways to purchase bitcoins, usage of bitcoin machines also reportedly increased. To some extent it led to growth of number of bitcoin ATMs installed. The following statistics illustrate changed bitcoin machines number during April 2017:

Period Start: 1113, Period End: 1156
Open: 63, Closed: 20, Net Growth: +43 (+3.9%)

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Bitcoin ATM market concentration

Bitcoin ATM industry is relatively new, however, it develops very dynamically. There are many new players entering the market, at the same time there is definitely a trend of some major participants increasing their machine networks size. In this article we evaluate how high is the concentration in bitcoin ATM industry w.r.t. manufacturers and operators. For assessment we look at top 3 countries with highest number of bitcoin ATMs installed: United States of America, Canada and United Kingdom.

Concentration indexes

For the purpose of this article three types of indexes are used:

  • Concentration ratio 3 (CR3) – market share controlled by top 3 manufacturers or operators;
  • Concentration ratio 5 (CR5) – market share controlled by top 5 manufacturers or operators;
  • Herfindahl index – is a concentration index, which is calculated as a sum of squared market shares, and gives more weight to the situation with dominance of a single or small group of companies.

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How to host a bitcoin ATM at your store or shop

With a trend of growing number of bitcoin machine installations worldwide many business owners start to consider hosting a bitcoin ATM at their premises. This post is supposed to help take a decision about how to house a bitcoin machine.

Generally there are several ways of doing it:

  • Organizing all on your own and later on also self operating machine(-s);
  • Finding someone who will be ready to finance and install machine at your location;
  • Some options in between the above two scenarios.
Street sign at 824 S Vermont Coin Cloud Bitcoin ATM
Street sign at 824 S Vermont Ave in Los Angeles, Coin Cloud Bitcoin ATM

Operating bitcoin machine on your own

When not to pursue…

The first option is rather a tedious task. Running a bitcoin ATM is a separate business by itself. In order to run a machine one should do all preliminary research work, e.g. finding out what is the legal status of such a business in the area and which licenses are required, then generally obtaining all permissions to do it within legal framework, which is usually time requiring and costly process. Apart from initial investments in legal advice services and obtaining permission, and then investment in machine hardware itself, business owner also will need to organize and maintain running of a bitcoin ATM on ongoing basis. This means to provide liquidity for bitcoin machine operations, and also organize the exchange process and provide all connected services, e.g. customer support.

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Bitcoin ATM Liquidity Providers

In this post we look at how operators can organize supply of bitcoin ATMs with liquidity. For simplicity purpose only buy bitcoin transactions (sell bitcoins to customers) are considered.

When running a bitcoin machine every operator needs to provide it with liquidity. Usually this is done via using own capital (fiat and BTC) in order to fund hot wallet (from where bitcoins are sent to customers) or additionally holding some liquidity on bitcoin exchange (fiat currency liquidity), which is converted to BTC when transaction happens to lock exchange rate and laterto replenish hot wallet for future transactions. You can read more details about it in Running bitcoin ATM from own hot wallet or Operating bitcoin ATM via exchange.

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1000 Bitcoin ATMs

While bitcoin price fluctuates around $1000, on 16th February total number of bitcoin ATMs installed in the world reached 1000 locations.

1000 bitcoin ATMs

This is perfectly in line with our rough prediction made more than two years ago based on comparison of traditional bank ATMs growth in its infancy with bitcoin ATMs growth.

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Bitcoin ATMs 2016 recap, trends for 2017

Another year has finished. Now it has been a little more than 3 years since first permanent bitcoin ATM installation in Vancouver. What has year 2016 year brought to bitcoin ATM industry, what has changed, what are the latest trends…

Geography

Bitcoin ATMs are installed around the world, however, most of them have high geographic concentration. The following chart illustrates bitcoin ATM installations split by continents for the last 3 years (year end is taken as a data point for each year):

Bitcoin ATMs by Continent

Latest data can be found on the charts page.

As it is seen North America was always dominating the market with 51% share in the end of 2014, and it grew constantly over years and reached 73% in the end of 2016.

Due to expansion of Canadian and mostly US market, Europe has lost 9% share over the same period and is at 20% of world installations currently. All the rest continents have very insignificant number of bitcoin ATM locations with a total of ~6%. In 2014 their share was ~20%.

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Bitcoin ATM fees: 2016 revision

There is a steady increasing number of bitcoin ATMs on the map. However, many people complain that fees to use these machines are still high, although these complaints might not be that prominent as they were at the start of first bitcoin ATMs launch times. Users finally realize that running a bitcoin ATM is not that easy and there are many costs associated with it.

Bitcoin ATM fees were already analysed in our blog back in 2014. This article is supposed to look at what are the latest figures across the industry as of the end 2016.

There are two ways of collecting fee size on the site:

  1. First is based on the manually defined values. This is normally used for bitcoin ATMs, which don’t support passing online information over API. Most prominent example is Lamassu with currently 185 installed and operational bitcoin ATMs across the world.
  2. Another way to collect data is via online feeds. There are several bitcoin ATM providers, which support online reporting of information similar to the one used at actual machines. These are: Genesis Coin, General Bytes, and Bitaccess. In case of Genesis Coin and General Bytes machines, online price is taken and converted to fee size based on Bitcoin Average rate. This allows to make all fee size comparable. In case of Bitaccess fees are reported directly.

Since April 2015 we collect daily information about fee size. There were some algorithm adjustments to calculation and storing procedure over time, but generally fees are comparable historically.

General

Current worldwide average bitcoin ATM fee is 8.4% for buying bitcoins from machines, and 5.4% for selling bitcoins for cash.

Bitcoin ATM fees

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