Bitstop, a Bitcoin Automated Teller Machine (ATM) operator, has partnered with Simon Malls, one of the biggest shopping mall operators in the United States, to install Bitcoin ATMs across California, Florida and Georgia.
According to the November 26, 2019, announcement, Bitstop’s ATMs are now live in five Simon Malls locations. The company’s chief executive and co-founder Andrew Barnard stated the firm is hoping to increase its network of machines from about 500 to over 2,000 by the end of 2020.
Answering Market Demand for Bitcoin ATMs
“Coming across a dedicated bitcoin ATM at a shopping mall or airport makes Bitcoin much more real in the consciousness of the mainstream,” Barnard told Bitcoin Magazine. “Millions of people will walk by these bitcoin ATMs within the next year. It will challenge their previous beliefs. These locations make Bitcoin much more real to the average person.”
Bitstop’s ATMs support bitcoin only and they are strictly one-way machines. According to Barnard, this is deliberate on their part. As he points out, they’ve noticed that the demand for purchasing bitcoin far outweighs that for selling the asset.
“We have two-way machines but the added cost and maintenance of the machines is not always worth it. Currently, the demand for cashing out bitcoin is significantly lower when compared to the demand for buying Bitcoin, at least in the United States. The reverse may be true outside of the United States depending on the jurisdiction.”
Bitstop installed its first ATM in Florida in 2015. About that time, there were less than 300 bitcoin ATMs globally. Fast forward to 2019 and there are over 6,000 of these machines around the world, with more than 60 percent domiciled in the U.S.
While Bitstop has all of its machines in the U.S., Barnard did reveal that there were plans to install their devices internationally as well.
“We’ve built a turn-key program for other operators who want to own and operate their own Bitcoin ATM fleet,” he said.
More Bitcoin ATMs, Further Bitcoin Adoption
The move will see a further increase in the number of bitcoin ATMs, a number which, according to analysis platform Coin ATM Radar, surpassed the 6,000 mark earlier this month. The United States currently dwarfs other countries in terms of ATMs installed, with about 65 percent of the total haul around the world.
Recently, Canadian crypto exchange Coinsquare acquired a controlling interest in Just Cash, a fintech firm that connects traditional ATMs to the crypto space. “By using the millions of existing ATMs around the world, we can now bridge the gap and give new users the easiest and most familiar experience to purchase cryptocurrency,” Coinsquare’s CEO Cole Diamond said to Bitcoin Magazine.
Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.