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Cryptocurrency ATMs And Blockchain-Based DronesBy Nishant Kumar | April 6, 2018, 7:05 a.m. GMT
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple…. these and many more names have been the limelight of world news for the past year and continue to do so even now. News about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have spread to all different demographics and regional areas. Everyone wants to be a part of the “Blockchain Revolution” and jump on the bandwagon of Cryptocurrency investing. But a major chunk of this population, though they are connected to the online world and have access to Internet-connected devices, either don’t understand the process of setting up a Cryptocurrency Wallet or simply don’t want to bear the inconveniences of setting up one. This leaves a massive untapped market of potential cryptocurrency users wondering how exactly does one acquire the Bitcoin they hear so much about. Most people in this category often lack the patience and knowledge to set up and use a fiat to crypto exchange account, leaving a large untapped market.
So what if there was a way in which this distance between the Blockchain World and potential users could be minimized? What if there was a way that users would no longer need understanding the jargons of Cryptocurrency wallet and its underlying tech and still use it like they use traditional fiat currencies?
Now one may think what a Cryptocurrency ATM is?
A Cryptocurrency ATM is an Internet machine that allows a person to exchange Cryptocurrency and cash. They are not exactly the ATMs that we know about as it is not linked to any bank account. Instead, they connect the user directly to a Cryptocurrency exchange.
All a user needs to do is put in cash and get Bitcoins in return. Now, these Bitcoins can be received in form of a paper receipt or we can move those Bicoins to any Bitcoin account we want by entering the public key to that account. Cool, eh?
Just like every other Cryptocurrency exchange they also charge a premium for their services and transaction charges may vary for different exchange machines.
Do we need cryptocurrency ATMs?
Now, to the tech heads out there, a cryptocurrency ATM may look like something that is unnecessary and cumbersome to use compared to online exchanges. But for someone who isn’t that well versed in technology, it can be an invaluable resource and asset.
Cryptocurrency ATMs are a perfect gateway for your neighbour to acquire cryptocurrencies for cold, hard cash. It is as simple as putting in a bill or banknote and then inputting your cryptocurrency address and receiving your chosen cryptocurrency, whether it be Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or one of the many other popular cryptocurrencies.
There are approximately 1400 cryptocurrency ATMs in the US. ATM providers have yet to turn to the developing world as a potential market but they are continually working on getting access and support for these areas.
With the arrival of cryptocurrency ATMs, we could see the mass adoption and subsequent use of many cryptocurrencies in global economies. Cryptocurrency ATMs are surely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the near future.
1) Coinsource ATMs
In the case of Coinsource Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin holders who wish to exchange their digital assets for fiat currency only require a cell phone. Users simply download the “Coinsource Bitcoin Wallet” app to send and receive Bitcoins by scanning a QR code using a cell phone’s camera.
Users can also buy Bitcoins with cash or exchange Bitcoins to receive fiat currency through any of the Coinsource ATMs. All that is required is a cell phone number and an active mobile Bitcoin wallet.
While the concept behind Coinsource is indeed cutting edge, we know the world is indeed developing really fast when money in our account comes to our doorsteps at one press on our cellphones. To make it more interesting, the money is delivered by not humans, but drones.
MANNA Robotics is a startup based in the San Francisco Bay Area that has created a “blockchain-based drone” and a token called MANNA, which is used for an instant, local deliveries.
The “DroneATM” as they call it, can be used to deliver instant and secure cryptocurrency and fiat transactions to local residents and companies.
Manna participants wishing to receive fiat or cryptocurrency simply have to request money via a mobile app. The MANNA drones will then deliver the cash amount requested directly to users at their doorstep. All transactions are secure as well, as money is held in digital escrow until successfully delivered, usually within 15 minutes or less by drone.
3) Developing Countries
Over 9 cryptocurrency ATMs are installed a day throughout the world, however, a large majority of these ATMs are installed in traditional western countries. Thus letting this untapped market, in developing countries, stay untapped.
News about cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technologies have spread to the corners of many developing countries like India and people eagerly await the dawn of the use of cryptocurrencies.
The main bottleneck in this matter is that a large chunk of people in developing countries lack the access to cryptocurrency online exchanges as many exchanges require a bank account and government issued ID to use. Approximately 2 billion people worldwide and roughly 59% of adults in the developing world don’t have a bank account.
Cryptocurrency ATMs are a perfect response to this issue with a potentially large user base in the internet accessible and unbanked populations in developing countries.
A word of caution:
Of course, while this system does provide a solution to breaking free of banking barriers, users are also at risk for hacks and digital thefts. Just as banks are prone to robbery, the cryptocurrency market has become a target for hackers and all users should take caution when utilizing digital wallets, cryptocurrency exchanges and DroneATMs.