As the activity around Bitcoin continues to grow, the number of people seeking to either sell or buy a piece of the cryptocurrency cake is also growing. Online Bitcoin exchanges have remained as the principal market where these transactions take place.
While they continue to be of an exceptional service to the bitcoin community around the world, the exchanges pose a number of difficulties.
For starters, the time that a typical transaction takes to complete is far too long for many people. Sometimes it takes up to 30 days for the bitcoins to hit the wallet of the buyer and money to reflect in the bank account of the seller.
This makes it hard to exchange money for reasons that are urgent.
In addition, the cost of carrying out each transaction is also relatively high. This is because commercial banks are involved in transferring of money from the account of the person buying the Bitcoins to that of the one selling them.
Then, there is the security risk, especially on the liquidity of the exchanges. A case in point is Mtgox filing for bankruptcy early in 2014. That turned out to be the biggest nightmare that the bitcoin community has had to face since the inception of the digital currency.
While the bitcoin ATM has not been developed to take on the traditional exchanges, it offers members of the bitcoin community yet another platform for buying and selling bitcoins.
It also mitigates most of the weaknesses that are experienced with exchanges. For instance, the time taken to complete a transaction is significantly reduced; from as high as 30 days to less than a minute.
Also, by localizing the process, the bitcoin ATM has nearly completely removed banks from the transactions, significantly reducing the cost of changing bitcoins for fiat currency, and vice versa.