Lamassu: Bitcoin ATM Owners Earning Up to $36,000 Per Year
Bitcoin ATM manufacturer Lamassu has released new data with the aim of illustrating how its core product is proving profitable for owners.
Lamassu has reported its bitcoin ATM operators now process an average of $20,000-worth of bitcoin each month, while units placed in prime locations receive as much as $40,000–$60,000 in monthly transactions.
The data release comes more than one year after Lamassu shipped its first bitcoin ATM unit, and is the result of an informal survey that asked the company's operators to self-report earnings and volume information.
Speaking to CoinDesk, Lamassu CEO Zach Harvey framed the findings as evidence that, despite bitcoin's recent struggles against the US dollar, average consumers remain interested in the digital currency.
"What our machines represent is the man on the street, the guy who just wants to put in $10 in bitcoin or $200 in bitcoin. We didn't know what to expect, there's always a question mark until you realize that your operators are actually profitable and that this is a service that can really work."
Lamassu's survey estimated that its operators earn between $1,000–$3,000 each month on an average commission of 5.5%. This equates to annual earnings for ATM operators of between $12,000 and $36,000 per unit.
Harvey defined a prime location as an ATM in an area that is easily accessible, citing the company's units in New York City and Helsinki, Finland, as examples of prime locations.
The company reported it began seeking data from operators this past summer, and that it believes the published figures paint a consistent picture of what its operators experience.
"These are the numbers that we keep seeing over and over again," Harvey added.
Operators affirm data
CoinDesk reached out to a number of Lamassu bitcoin ATM operators to verify that the company's reported figures offer a true reflection of their actual business.
Some, like Liberty Teller co-founder Chris Yim, who operates a number of machines in the Boston metropolitan area, for example, found the numbers to be accurate.
"The monthly volume is similar to what we've seen from our incremental machines," he said, before noting that final operator revenue is dependent on the fees charged by owners.
Similarly, Adam O'Brien, president of Bitcoin Solutions, reported the numbers were "spot on" in regards to the earnings the machines provided. However, he noted that Bitcoin Solutions charges a commission of 8% on its units.
O'Brien went on to suggest his volume figures were lower than the average provided by Lamassu, adding: "Our Lamassu in Edmonton has seen over $70,000 in gross volume since our launch in February."
Emerging market struggles
Although operators in more developed bitcoin markets found the figures to be accurate, ATM owners in regions that are arguably still warming to the technology told a different tale.
Pablo Gonzalez, CEO of Mexico-based bitcoin exchange Bitso, noted that his Lamassu unit processes only $3,000 in transactions each month, and that it is not generating any profit.
Still, Gonzalez reported that he was satisfied with the unit, which serves to help promote both his main business and bitcoin to the wider community.
"We knew that when we purchased our ATM as we are positioned at a nascent bitcoin market," he said, before adding that he expects interest to increase as adoption rises.
Slovakia-based ATM operator Marián Jančuška, by contrast, indicated that his machine has so far suffered from frequent outages relating to its connection to bitcoin exchange Bitstamp.
"I had to disable this interface to make the machine stable. It took until about two weeks ago for Lamassu to deliver an upgrade with working Bitstamp interface," Jančuška explained.
Jančuška stated that due to these issues, his machine processes just €10,000 each month and that the machine is not yet profitable.
Image via Lamassu
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