As crypto magnifying glass grows, a bitcoin ATM maker is looking to jump

Cryptocurrency is cooking with a falling rally and lots of attention from recognizable companies like Square and PayPal. For Daniel Polotsky, any good news for bitcoin is welcome.

“The price is pumping. And whenever it goes up that signals more interest,” said Polotsky, CEO and founder of CoinFlip, a company that uses bitcoin ATMs, which converts currency digital currency.

Bitcoin increased for most of the fall, reaching record highs, with a boost from investors looking to hedge against inflation and betting PayPal support for bitcoin trading it will boost cryptocurrency valuations. The mainstream coverage is generating momentum for bitcoin ATMs.

That makes the time right for more bitcoin machines to hit the streets. The CoinFlip in Chicago has ATMs in 45 provinces and Washington, DC, and usage increased in 2020 from 420 to about 1,300. It plans to use more than 4,000 by the end of 2021, mainly in high-traffic areas such as convenience stores.

CoinFlip bitF ATM

Bitcoin ATMs in general are expanding rapidly. Global bitcoin ATMs expanded in 2020 to more than 13,000 globally from about 5,000 at the beginning of 2019 and less than 2,500 at the beginning of 2018, as of 2018 CoinATMRadar. Most of those locations are in the US, with bitcoin ATMs jumping from about 2,000 to more than 10,000 over the past two years.

“Cashless and on-demand payments are the biggest trends at the end of the year. Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency and a real blue chip of the crypto market, so no wonder most holders are excited to get more points limit and opportunities to deploy their crypto assets on a daily basis, “said Gregory Klumov, CEO and founder of Stasis, a Malta digital asset company. “The number of such ATM machines grew significantly in 2020, and this trend will no doubt continue.”

The number of bitcoin ATMs is of course far below the number of traditional ATMs. There are about 3.2 million ATMs in the world, according RBR. But a legacy ATMs were in decline before the pandemic, dipping about 1% a year in most markets. It caused the pandemic ATM usage decline rapidly as consumers move away from cash, and ATM manufacturers recharged machines to accommodate digital commerce.

The decline of cash and legacy ATMs creates an opening for cryptocurrency ATM machines, trending in the opposite direction. The lack of ATMs and previous bank branches in relation to the recent past is contributing to a gap in access to financial services.

Writing for PaymentsSource, Marc Grens, president of DigitalMint, said bitcoin ATMs can serve financial inclusion by providing unbanked users with access to a modern payment source, as most other cryptocurrency services are fully digital and require a bank account – and so need paper money at first. .

“Not everyone has a bank account,” Polotsky said.

CoinFlip plans to add ACH functionality to its bitcoin ATMs, which also support eight other cryptocurrencies. Other projects for the coming year include a larger screen and focus on two-way ATMs, which supports buying and selling.

In recent interviews, several executives at cryptocurrency payment companies say that PayPal, Square, Venmo and projects in the card brands do not push cryptocurrency payments directly in the short term, as most enterprises require a transition from cryptocurrency to traditional currency before for the transaction to reach the merchant. But there is a halo effect, or a sense of validation or credibility for cryptocurrency, Polotsky said.

“Bitcoin may not be quite ready to be a payment product yet, but with PayPal and Venmo support is a step,” Polotsky said. “It helps bitcoin ATMs because there’s more interest.”

Bitcoin’s growing corporate demand is based on the fact that it takes a better place in gold and is a perfect treasury asset, says Klumov, adding bitcoin’s use as a payment method depends on local payment infrastructure that still fluctuates in different parts of the world. “In the meantime, stablecoins are more suited for merchant use and payment transactions, so I anticipate more developments in this direction coming in 2021,” Klumov said.