Cash To Crypto Is Becoming Mainstreamed By Bitcoin ATMs
by Mashum Mollah Finance 22 May 2019
Is cryptocurrency something you should buy? Is it really like a form of digital cash you can use without needing a bank to manage a savings or checking account for you? The answer to those questions is yes, although by no means is Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency the answer to every digital transaction issue. However, it does have some great security benefits by running on blockchain technology and being peer-to-peer in transactions. And unlike sending US dollars to someone around the world that will need to go through exchange systems before the recipient can use them, cryptocurrencies hold the same value everywhere in the world.
It used to be you needed to either buy cryptocurrencies online on a crypto exchange, or from someone in person who would send them to your wallet in a cash sale. But now cryptocurrency ATMs are popping up as a local bitcoin option where you can buy them in cash, and CoinFlip is one of the more popular ATMs out there.
Crypto ATMs are technically not ATMs in the sense that you’re really not making any deposits or withdrawals from any accounts. You’re buying cryptocurrencies that you will have transferred to your digital wallet which usually will be a smartphone or tablet app when you visit an ATM, although if you have a printed wallet with an address, public key, private key, or a QR code, you can use that as well. It can also be easier for some people to make Bitcoin purchases in cash if they want to buy a relatively small amount as 1 BTC actually currently equals over $1,000, though some cryptocurrencies have a lower exchange rate than that. But usually, you buy much less than one full Bitcoin at ATMs like CoinFlip’s, although keep in mind there are exchange fees and processing fees that can be tacked on.
It also may be wise not to purchase cryptocurrency using your bank account funds or credit card since there have been some banks who have taken action against those who purchase cryptocurrency including closing down accounts. Companies like CoinFlip have been working with banks and trying to lobby for fair laws that deal with cryptocurrency exchanges.
The founder and current CEO of CoinFlip are Daniel Polotsky, a former marketing affiliate of Vector Marketing and Uber, and someone who took an interest in investing in Bitcoin while interning at Morgan Stanley. He only wanted to buy a small amount of Bitcoin to start with, but the ATMs available at the time in Chicago where he lived were not getting the job done for him.
So that’s when he and someone else who he purchased Bitcoin from decided to buy their own ATM where people could immediately connect to a Bitcoin exchange platform and use cash to buy it. It took a few adjustments on Polotsky’s part and he even had to switch ATM providers once to get the ATMs he wanted running the right way. But in time he was able to get the ATMs connected to the exchange network for both buying and selling using cash.
CoinFlip has included several of the most popular cryptocurrencies in their network including Bitcoin, Tron, LiteCoin, Komodo, Ethereum, Dash and now Binance. They’ve grown from just a few locations in Chicago to now having ATMs all across North America, and Polotsky has plans to take the company globally.
The company does have clear policies on both laws regarding needing ID verification for large cryptocurrency purchases or sales while also keeping user privacy protected deep in their highly secure systems and not selling data to anyone. These actions are taken so that in the event criminal investigations come up, they’re able to comply with law enforcement.
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