No innovation can exist on its own for long, without adequate/secondary support. Whatever foundation it does have, it is a very fundamental one. Therefore, a secondary infrastructure must come into play, for helping it move beyond the experimental website, and towards the mainstream one. Regarding digital currencies, the secondary infrastructures appear in the form of crypto ATMs.
Origin of Crypto ATMs
The first crypto ATM came into being in October 2013. The location was a Waves coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. It was a Robocoin machine, a type of hybrid automated teller machine. Users could exchange cash and digital currencies via this machine.
Seeing how people were attracted to it, Bratislava in Slovakia decided to set up a Bitcoin ATM. This was a mere two months later. By May 2014, the idea was beginning to take fruit. Therefore, a regulatory body entered the scene, to provide a license for official operations. Coinme took over the task of creating the first crypto ATM machine. It came into display at Spitfire Grill, Seattle, Washington.
It took another ten years for 36k+ Bitcoin ATMs to become distributed across the globe. The exact number remains controversial, however, with some people claiming it to have crossed 50k. Thus, the exact figure remains illusory.
The Crypto ATM’s Operations
As the name suggests, an ATM is an automated teller machine. It works electronically. Users may undertake simple monetary transactions without the assistance of a bank representative. It is possible to deposit/withdraw cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies. It is a hybrid machine.
Crypto ATMs are of two types. One is unidirectional, wherein customers may purchase certain acceptable crypto assets, including Bitcoin. The bidirectional ATM permits customers to sell/purchase crypto assets, as exchange for fiat currencies. In other words, users/customers may sell their virtual assets and request a fiat currency of choice.
Many crypto ATMs across the globe are unidirectional. Bidirectional ATMs are lesser in number.
How does the crypto ATM work?
The customer does not require any physical card or a bank account. Instead, the person must enter the phone/mobile number. It serves as an identification, and a verification. A verification code goes to the registered mobile number. This number must go onto the screen, prior to going ahead with the transaction.
After verification, the machine will ask for a wallet address. This address is personal to the customer. It could also be known to a third-party user. Therefore, the customer should scan the wallet address via the QR code on the mobile device. An alternative is to ask for the QR code of a third party. It is not advisable to type the wallet’s address directly onto the machine. Additionally, the wallet chat must be compatible with the digital currency being put into use. An Ether coin will require an ERC-20 compatible wallet, a BNB will require a BEP20 – compatible wallet, etc.
After all the verifications are complete, the customer may insert cash into the machine. The amount should suffice for purchasing the desired crypto currency at the current rate. Based upon whether the rate of purchase is favorable or not, the customer may proceed /not proceed with the transaction. A receipt at the end, indicates that the transaction is being processed, but not necessarily complete. Crypto blockchains require multiple confirmations, before they release the coins. Therefore, transactions may even go up to an hour, for everything to be completed.
Crypto ATMs are Different from Fiat ATMs
The software required to run a crypto ATM tends to be more sophisticated. The body may be that of a traditional ATM, but the functioning is different. Every transaction demands a secret code, account number, biometric thumbprint, debit card, etc, in an ordinary deal. A crypto ATM only needs a wallet address, or a phone number as 2-factor confirmation.
An ordinary ATM is only interested in dealings with fiat currencies. Every transaction carries a fee, which is collected at one time. A crypto ATM also charges per transaction. For instance, Bitcoin fees range between 9% and 12%. However, market volatilities may cause the price range to increase/decrease.
With so much of emphasis on cryptocurrencies now, and the number of fans ever-increasing, crypto ATMs may well become the need and fad of the future. Crypto investors are increasing at jet speed anyone can invest and earn through platforms like Bitcoin smart.