The cryptocurrency-ATM company Coinmover has over 100 machines in stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Washington state — and plans to have 1,250 machines in 18 states by the end of the year, reports the Boston Globe.
Right now each machine is selling “an average of about $40,000 in cryptocurrency each month.”
There’s a nationwide surge in easier ways to buy cryptocurrencies, with bitcoin ATMs leading the way. According to the industry tracking site Coin ATM Radar, there were about 6,000 such machines in the U.S. at this time last year, but over 26,000 today, with hundreds more installed every week. And that only counts “pure” bitcoin ATMs, the ones that only sell cryptocurrency. In addition, thousands of traditional cash-vending ATMs have been modified to support crypto purchases as well. Then there’s Coinstar, which makes the coin-counting machines found in many US supermarkets. About 7,500 of these machines now sell bitcoin, and that number is expected to reach 10,000 by year’s end. Researchers at a different site, How Many Bitcoin ATMs, have added these hybrid machines to the mix, and estimate there are over 42,000 bitcoin vending machines in the US today….
Financial technology giant NCR has entered the game. Last month NCR acquired Boston-based LibertyX, one of the first bitcoin ATM companies. These days, LibertyX mainly makes software to add crypto vending capabilities to standard ATMs and retail point-of-sale devices — the modern equivalent of cash registers. NCR is one of the world’s leading makers of ATMs and point-of-sale devices. The LibertyX acquisition doesn’t just mean thousands more crypto-capable ATMs. It could also mean that thousands of retail stores could sell crypto just like candy bars. It’s already happening. LibertyX has deals with retailers CVS, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven to enable bitcoin purchases at selected stores. A customer uses a LibertyX smartphone app to punch in the amount he or she wants to buy, up to $500 per day. A barcode appears on the phone’s screen. A clerk scans the barcode and the customer hands over the cash. It’s instantly added to the customer’s bitcoin account, less a $4.95 transaction fee.
LibertyX claims this service is now available at over 20,000 retail stores…
According to a survey from the University of Chicago, 13 percent of US adults bought or sold cryptocurrency during the past year. That’s nearly 33 million people. How many more will buy in, when thousands of retail stores and ATMs become bitcoin trading posts? We’re about to find out.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.