ATM Industry Association Publishes Report on Bitcoin ATMs

Jon Southurst
Mar 20, 2014 at 13:38 UTC
Updated Mar 20, 2014 at 15:49 UTC

The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) has published a report titled “An Introduction to Bitcoin ATMs”, providing the industry’s first in-depth view of bitcoin and its implications for the ATM world.

The ATMIA commissioned the report, which was written by Tremont Capital Group, a leading consulting firm specializing in the ATM industry.

“We’ve been asked as an industry body to comment on the significance of bitcoin and digital currencies to the ATM and cash industries,” said Mike Lee, the association’s CEO.

“This paper is our first report of many which will enable us to draw some logical conclusions about how bitcoin will affect payments and regulations in future.”

Bitcoin overview

The report’s comprehensive analysis was conducted by ATM industry expert Sam M Ditzion and offers an overview of bitcoin’s history, how the currency works and significant landmark events and controversies. It goes on to cover the evolving regulatory landscape, and the expanding role of bitcoin ATMs.

The report further provides a summary of the current major players in the bitcoin ATM space, with a focus on the US and Canada, but also with reference to Singapore-based companies.

While several years have been devoted to building bitcoin’s basic infrastructure, the report says, the focus is now on consumer awareness and managing bitcoin’s reputation as a credible payment system.

Much of its growth is expected from younger generations, an increasingly powerful segment under-served by the ‘traditional’ finance industry, it adds.

Implications for the industry

According to the report, the growing popularity of bitcoin ATMs is due mainly to ease of access, compared to the often cumbersome procedures required by online exchanges and risks often associated with anonymous in-person trading.

It acknowledges that the bitcoin ATM industry is still in its infancy, and that many new companies will attempt to enter the space over the coming year.

Compliance with local regulations, wherever machines are located, presents a significant challenge to operators, both in bureaucracy and cost. There are also the technical challenges of ensuring machines have sturdy connections to ensure transactions are secure and reliable.

The report provides a rundown of regulations in various North American jurisdictions, including financially significant US states and Canada.

Overall the report’s tone is cautiously optimistic, although it stresses that the bitcoin ATM industry is still nascent and there are many issues that need to be resolved further to attract more deployers.

Growth industry

Bitcoin ATMs have become a booming industry in the past six months, with machines produced by at least six different companies operating live in many countries around the world at present, and several more to come online shortly.

They range in type from simple cash-to-bitcoin vending machines to full two-way exchange platforms – some offering security and compliance features, such as palm vein scans and ID recording.

About ATMIA and Tremont Capital Group

ATMIA is an independent, non-profit trade organization which promotes ATM use and convenience worldwide, while also protecting the ATM industry’s reputation and assets, and providing networking opportunities for its members. The association has chapters in all regions of the world.

Tremont Capital Group is the leading provider of business strategy consulting, research, and merger & acquisition advisory services to the ATM and related industries.

The proprietary research report is available free to all ATMIA members, or for purchase by non-members until April 30th at a discounted price of $145.00 USD (regular price $195.00).

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