One of the things that have exploded in number due to the popularity of cryptocurrencies worldwide is the crypto ATMs. Just like your regular ATMs, you can get cash instantly with the cryptocurrency in your wallet. The very first crypto ATM was Robocoin machine in 2013. In its first eight days, it recorded 348 transactions. It had an average transaction value of $273.
Since then, things have changed. Today, North America still has the highest concentration of crypto ATMs. With a 73.21% market share in 2016, North America is still considered at the epicenter of crypto revolution. By 2023, it is expected by experts that the crypto industry will reach $144.5M.
The presence of crypto ATMs worldwide played a crucial role in the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. Recently, Nevada insisted on making the necessary changes when it comes to handling crypto kiosks. Now, kiosks are going to be required to have a state money transmission license. According to BitAML Senior Advisor Annelise Strader, the state’s regulatory team made the necessary changes after not passing a crypto bill last May. And also, they’ve changed their interpretation of what constitutes a money transmitter in Nevada.
Negative Impact on Kiosks
With the latest changes, the operators need to pay $5,000 per kiosk. The Surety bonds are going to be paid to the state and will work as an insurance mechanism that guarantees the customers. Strader first went to the state regulator to ask for answers on behalf of BitAML.
According to Julie Hanivold who works for the Nevada Division of Financial Institution, they are still waiting for the crypto regulation bill to pass before they’d take any action. But as the bill failed to materialize, plus the attempt of the state to reinterpret the state money transmissions, it has resulted in ATM operators to pay for surety bond requirement.
How much should they be paying? The surety bond requires $10K upfront and another $5,000 for each location. And also, the bond requirement is going to max out at $250K. Hanivold mentioned that “We’re not going to go hunting and penalizing any kiosks, but six months down the road if any action hasn’t been taken, (we will begin notifying owners)”.
Expanding Interest and Booming Number of Bitcoin ATMs
Liberty X which was the very first company that launched a US-based Bitcoin ATM is now looking to expand to 90 locations in Arizona and Nevada. To date, there are around 1,000 Bitcoin ATMs from Liberty X around the US.
According to Chris Yim, “It was a natural evolution of what we started almost 5 years ago” He also added that “Our goal is to make Bitcoin available on every block in America”.
If you are going to ask Yim, “There are not many crypto companies still around from 2014 and we are proud not only to have survived, but thrived over the years. We have grown from that 1 ATM in Boston’s South Station in 2014 to thousands of retail locations worldwide”.
Regulatory changes in the crypto industry have been affecting different businesses. In fact, the industry is still in a grey area in terms of regulations. Could this latest move in Nevada slow down the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the state? Another question is if other states are going to follow Nevada’s example?