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The amount of cryptocurrency ATMs has been increasing across the US since 2013. From 2013, when the cryptocurrency ATM first appeared, the numbers have increased from 1 to nearly 2,400 machines in the US today and are only expected to grow furthermore.
Chicago now has near 100 cryptocurrency ATM machines, making the city a battleground for the terminals. Altana based company Lux Vending is the latest to deploy 30 crypto ATMs across the city. Lux already had some machines in the city but is expanding the amount, making the city its second largest venue.
- Cryptocurrency ATMs always have fees, but the fees vary based on who the operator or producer of the ATM is. This differs from traditional ATMs where you can simply locate the ATM associated with your bank to avoid paying fees, or some ATMs don’t charge fees regardless of whether it’s your bank or not. According to CoinATMRadar, the average fee for cryptocurrency ATMs is 8.31 percent.
- The fees are what makes crypto ATMs competitive. If you switch to a different ATM operator, you can pay fewer fees.
- People use cryptocurrency ATMs to convert their cash to a digital code that they can spend and use the cryptocurrency online.
- The process of the ATMs works like this:
- Choose language
- Select cryptocurrency to buy (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin etc)
- Select the amount you want to buy
- Enter your mobile number to receive an SMS code to enter into the ATM
- Scan ID
- Scan QR code that has been sent to your phone
- Insert the cash you want to exchange
- Finalize the transaction by clicking “complete”, “send” or similar
- Get a receipt or receive an email that confirms the transaction
- All machines allow for cash to be exchanged into a digital code, but only around 30% allow for cryptocurrency to be sold back to the network.
In the future cryptocurrency ATMs may move the way of traditional ATMs and do away with the fees; however at the moment it is just the way the market is.
Chicago has become a cryptocurrency hub, with crypto start-ups and a crypto positive atmosphere. Chicago-based cryptocurrency firms have seen significant investment in the industry; however, 2018 was a somewhat worrying year for cryptocurrencies, with Bitcoin declining dramatically and several high profile hacks that involve cryptocurrency, causing people to consider whether it is safe.
Red Leaf Chicago has 60 of their 200 machines within the city, the rest are spread across the US. This suggests that cryptocurrency companies clearly see Chicago as a significant location for the expansion of the industry. Chicago is also a major location for jobs within the cryptocurrency industry for this reason.