In this podcast published in March 2020, you will hear Gordon and Faris from CoinCompass answering questions on how bitcoin ATMs actually work.
The concept of this podcast is for people to send their questions related to Bitcoin ATMs for Gordon and Faris to answer. It’s not going to be too much technical or too much economic detail but simply the basics of Bitcoin – those questions you thought were too silly to ask but actually are not.
Recently we added a new geographic area in all of our charts — Europe, and it brought to light some interesting insights about comparison of the bitcoin ATM market in the U.S. and in Europe. In this article we check each statistic separately to find differences and similarities.
In this video, you will see the first part (out of two) of the interview with Cory from CoinBros. In this part, he will talk about the CoinBros as a company and explain how Bitcoin ATMs work.
After telling a story on how he started to gain interest in Bitcoin while he was a paramedic and finally started a Bitcoin ATM business in 2017, Cory was asked to explain how is cryptocurrency stored in the machine.
He explains that you can link the ATM directly to the exchange via API or you can use the cold storage wallet. Linking directly to an exchange is less risky because you buy or sell crypto live and that way you cannot become a victim of volatility. On the other hand, by storing the crypto in the wallet you can lose a lot of money if the price keeps going down like in 2018, or you can earn much more in an opposite scenario.
In this episode of the “Nick and Jimmy” show, you will hear Maria and Michael from Instacoin talking about how they got into the Crypto ATM business and how they got to operating more than 100 Bitcoin ATMs all over Canada.
The first Michael was asked was if the cryptocurrency will take over the fiat currency. In his opinion that is the actual goal of cryptocurrency, adding that it is currently gaining more and more popularity even though it is fairly young (only 10 years). He thinks that crypto presents a great alternative to a fiat currency because it’s much faster to buy stuff online or if you want to do remittances it’s a lot cheaper. The most important thing is that it is not centralized, which means that there is no middleman who’s taking astronomic fees.
In this video, you will hear Adam from BC Systems responding to viewer questions. Below we listed some of the questions and answers for you, so you can check it out easily.
Can you do a video about approaching locations for your machines? Also how much money can you keep in your machines both the Bitcoin and cash?
Adam explained how first you will need to approach the business owner of the location, which can sometimes be tricky since they often aren’t available directly on the location. Especially if they own multiple stores. This is if you are doing the groundwork yourself and you don’t want any additional cost.
If you don’t have time to go around looking for locations, there are guys called the “Locators” whose job is to go to different locations and put your machine in various stores. They charge a small fee, usually around 150-300 dollars depending on the location.
As for the amount of money and Bitcoin kept in the machines, Adam explained that it really depends on how your machines are running. You need to monitor them every day to check on the number of transactions and decide the amount of Bitcoin to cover their needs. You also need to monitor the trends, because you definitely don’t want to buy too much Bitcoin when the price is going down, or fluctuating too much.
In this interview held in December of 2019, you will hear Daniel and Dustin from one of the largest Bitcoin ATM Operators – CoinFlip talking about the business.
In the beginning, Daniel talks about the difficulties they had to overcome when they started. Apart from the regulations and obtaining the AML policy, which they learned that needs to be done on the example of Charlie Shrem, he states the cash flow as one of the unexpected drawbacks they faced. He explains that it takes a week for an armored car to pick up the money and two more days of processing, so it’s a nine-day lead time on the cash that they need so they could buy more bitcoin and keep the business expanding.
Public opinion about bitcoin ATM business varies, but mostly it is split into two radical sides: either “machines are not used by anyone and hence operators don’t make any money”, or “the fees charged are usually so huge, probably operators do a lot of money”. Obviously, both extremes do not correspond to reality, as if it was not profitable, there would be not that many businesses doing this long term, on the other hand, the fee size is dictated by market and there are plenty of various costs and risks associated with this business.
In this post we analyze historical data available on the website about operators growth and closure of activities. We analyze activity of total 870 operators on the website, since October 2013, when the first publicly accessible ATM was installed, and up to the end of January 2020.
The chart above summarizes information, that is used as a source for analysis — number of ATMs installed by each operator on the 1st day of each calendar month.
Peter McCormack in his series of podcasts covers bitcoin ATM operations from various angles. If you are looking into operating of bitcoin ATM’s the full series of 5 episodes will be an interesting listen.
The first episode is with Gil and Eric from Athena Bitcoin, one of the largest operator on the market. They also one of operators who expanded business over national border and installed ATM’s in Argentina and Colombia.
Gil and Eric met 5 years ago and thought about business opportunities of getting into the money flow related to cryptocurrencies. In late 2014 they started a business with several ATM’s in Chicago area and saw an immediate demand. Then expanded business to other states and countries with currently 65 ATM’s in the U.S. (in 8 different states), 22 in Colombia, 11 in Argentina, and are looking to expand into Mexico.
In this post we have a brief overview of what Lightning Network is and how it can and is integrated with existing cryptocurrency ATM’s. We check what are potential advantages and disadvantages of using LN payments for both users and operators.
Lightning Network Overview
There is a lot of information on what Lightning Network is. In short, it is a second layer protocol on top of cryptocurrenices like Bitcoin, Litecoin etc. Effectively, two users have a mutual (multi-signature) transaction on the base layer and then exchange signed new transactions, which are not broadcast to the base layer network and hence are not included into blockchain. Only last transaction in a sequence of exchanged signed transactions (commitment transaction) is broadcast to the blockchain, when one party decides to close the financial relationships with counterparty. Such funding transaction and exchange of signed transaction is called a payment channel.
In this video, you will hear Adam from BC Systems talking about what profits you can expect, as well as the cost options and operating your very own Bitcoin ATM Company.
He divided his presentation into four parts: Location, Cost, Marketing and Fees.
Location is probably the most important part of the planning and operating your Bitcoin ATM Company. Of course, there are different variables when it comes to choosing a location like foot traffic, competition, and potential fees. In his experience shopping malls are the most successful locations for a couple of reasons.
First of all their working hours. They are usually open from 8 A.M. to 9 P.M. and they also tend to work on holidays, so the overall availability of the machines is going to be excellent.
Secondly, shopping malls present a safe place for people. When they go to a public place, where there is a lot of crowd, they feel like they are going somewhere reputable and feel much safer than going to let’s say a liquor store or a smoke shop where there aren’t usually a lot of other people around. This is especially true for guys who are making large transactions, they always want to feel safe and comfortable carrying their money.