Residents of East and South London looking to trade Bitcoin no longer need to fear scams, as a growing network of Bitcoin ATMs promise to simplify the trading process.
There are around 15 ATMs across the Eastlondonlines boroughs which are part of a network of over 150 in the whole city.
For individuals or small traders who want to use Bitcoin, these machines are an easy way to get started, processing payment instantly whilst avoiding an online market full of scam websites.
There are limits to how much you can buy and sell – one provider requires ID verification to trade more than £500 a day – but the transactions are secure, and the ATMs are fitted with cameras to prevent fraud.
The owner of a Lewisham shop with an ATM, who did not want to be named, said that the ATM was “good for business”.
The premises came equipped with the machine, which is operated by an external provider, so the shop does not directly receive any profit.
However, according to the owner: “People come in and use the machine all the time. Sometimes they buy things from us as well”.
According to figures from BCB ATM, who operate a number of the East London machines, they are used 30 to 40 times a day. A quarter of the people who use them are new customers for the businesses that host them.
As the price and popularity of Bitcoin have grown, so has the market for secure trading machines. Manufacturers have seen exponential growth and there are almost 300 machines in the UK. The market is much larger in the US, where there are close to 4000.
Landry Ntahe, founder & CEO of BCB ATM, told Eastlondonlines: “In London, especially in East London, we are seeing more interest from retailers to install ATMs as they recognise that they drive traffic into stores, and shoppers then tend to spend [a] while in the shops.”
“Over the last year, we have seen rapid growth in the adoption of Bitcoin, and consequently for our machines, as people become more confident about using the online currency.”
Martijn Wismeijer, head of marketing at General Bytes, who have manufactured over half of the machines in the UK, told Eastlondonlines: “The market will keep growing. It’s a new way for people to do business.”
“People no longer go to blockbuster because they have Netflix. Why do we still bank?”