Bitcoin ATMs are just a fad, right? Here today and gone tomorrow?
Actually, to the contrary, all signs point to these cryptocurrency kiosks sticking around a long time. In fact, we expect that you’ll see more and more of them, to the point where they’re on nearly every street corner (well, that might be overkill, but you get the point!)
We spoke with Coin Cloud CEO and founder, Chris McAlary, to get his thoughts on the matter.
“Bitcoin ATMs are here to stay. There's over 6,000 worldwide currently. They are continuing to grow every month,” McAlary says. “They continue to be well used and very successful. Bitcoin ATMs help people use crypto, make it easy to use, make it available to them, and it's a real-world presence. It's not just an online phenomenon. Bitcoin is in people's lives being used every day.”
If you’re not one of the many people who have started using Bitcoin on a daily basis, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Maybe you’re not even sure how to start, but Coin Cloud can help you through the process. “Our customer support teams are talking to customers every single day, helping them download their first wallets or understanding how Bitcoin works, helping them find our locations,” states McAlary.
OK, so it’s pretty easy and lots of people are doing it. But is it safe? “There's scams around payment options, whether it's Western Union, MoneyGram, Bitcoin, wire; there's all sorts of scams that take advantage of these payment mechanisms. Mostly because they're one-way, meaning that it's a push transaction. Once a transaction goes out, it's very hard, if not impossible to reverse Bitcoin; like bank wires and MoneyGram and Western Union,” McAlaray explains. “So, these scams have been around forever.” But just because scams exist doesn’t mean you are likely to get scammed.
“Western Union's still around, bank wires are still around. It's just about having the necessary consumer protections in place to protect our customers, and Coin Cloud has very robust consumer protections in place. We have triggers on the machine with new first-time customers. We do a call to make sure that the customer isn't being scammed. We'll hold the funds before they're irreversibly released in order to make sure our customers don't lose money. And it's incredible. We're approaching seven figures now in how much money we've saved our customers in scams. So, we're really proud of our customer support team and our compliance team.”
That all sounds great, but what about having to give up your private information? “We're required to collect certain information like an ID,” McAlary agrees. And by law, they have to keep those records on file for five years. But it doesn’t get shared with any third parties. “That stays in house, and we value our customers' privacy and financial privacy. It's very important to us and that's what we built our business on and we need our customers to trust us.”
Despite all those precautions, you might have read news stories about BTMs being hubs for criminal activity. McAlary stresses that those stories get covered since they attract readers, but in reality, it’s extremely uncommon. “If you look at the compliance procedures that our company and all of our competitors do, and the laws that regulate our space, they're in place to make sure that illicit activity doesn't happen at our machines. And so, this is why we do Know Your Customer protocols, where we ID our customers. This is why we have certain limits in place. You can only do so much in a machine in a certain day without having to answer further questions. So, there's a lot of procedures and protocols in place that prevent money laundering or illicit activity from happening.”
A lot of this success is due to the strong customer support team Coin Cloud has built. But while Coin Cloud is the biggest BTM provider, they’re not alone. McAlary adds, “the numbers and growth of the industry speaks for itself. Bitcoin ATMs are here to stay. There was one six years ago and now there's over 6,000 so, the fact that there's a product market fit that consumers continue to know and love Bitcoin; know and love Bitcoin ATMs. They're here to stay and it shows the value it's adding to people's lives, based on just the usage and growth of the industry.”
Disclaimer: The information and views supplied on the Coin Cloud blog are for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not financial advisors, so please do your research and consult with a trusted financial specialist before investing your money.
Founded in 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Coin Cloud is the leading digital currency machine (DCM) operator. With over 4,500 locations nationwide, in 48 states and Brazil, Coin Cloud operates the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of 100% two-way DCMs, a more advanced version of the Bitcoin ATM. Every Coin Cloud DCM empowers you to quickly and easily buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrency options with cash.
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