There are those of us who are—to put it delicately—“of a certain age,” who recall what it was like to have to go into the local branch of a bank to take care of financial transactions. When automatic teller machines (ATMs) were introduced, the financial world for regular people was revolutionized and simplified. Though nowadays bank and credit union ATMs are taken for granted, the cryptocurrency world is starting to experience the excitement of ATM technology all over again.
In late October 2013, the world's first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver, Canada, and on its very first day it saw over $10,000 in financial activity. On February 20th of the following year, the first Bitcoin ATM in the US went operational in Austin, Texas. Since then, over 80 Bitcoin ATMs have sprouted up in several countries worldwide, capable of transactions and exchanges with over ten traditional world currencies. Keep in mind these statistics are for one company alone, called Robocoin, which makes ATMs specifically for Bitcoins. When you consider there are other businesses and digital currencies preparing to jump into the game—Dogecoin already has a few briefcase-style ATMs out there—the cryptocurrency ATM is stacking up to be more than a fad. True, there are some growing pains involved—different companies accept and regulate cryptocurrency in different ways, and ATMs must adjust to those circumstances where they're installed—but they certainly appear to be here to stay.
It's an ideal setup, really. There isn't an industrialized nation on the globe whose population isn't already familiar with how ATMs work—so there won't be any of the learning curve and average-person hesitation that often comes with the introduction of new technology. The convenience that alternative currency ATMs provide—along with the almost-certain profitability for companies that build them—creates a win-win situation for both investors and ATM builders and licensees. Cryptocurrency as a concept is catching on more every day, and as its popularity—and overall use and circulation—increases, the ATM is a logical step forward for the industry. Soon enough, you'll be able to access your digital currency just as easily as you do your traditional legal tender.
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