By CCN.com: For once, we’re not talking about California or New York when we discuss a significant expansion of retail crypto availability. Instead, we’re talking about Arizona and Nevada, where a block of 20 Circle K convenience stores now host bitcoin ATMs from DigitalMint.
The ATMs currently only serve BTC, with a more than 10% mark-up for purchases. With bitcoin currently averaging around $9,800, DigitalMint currently asks $10,987.
Dubbed a “pilot program,” Circle K’s more than 15,000 other locations could be next. Important to note: the corporation owns some Circle K locations, and franchise operators own some. The latter could be a stumbling stone in a full roll out across the chain.
According to a press release, the ATMs are mainly one-directional. Some further research on DigitalMint’s website found that some of the machines will accept credit or debit cards.
DigitalMint offers a variety of services, all bitcoin exclusive. In addition to providing offline bitcoin ATMs, the company enables outlets to act as “bitcoin tellers,” which is similar to the model used by LibertyX.
CCN.com called one of the stores to ask about the popularity of the new machines. The store employee asked us to call corporate, as they are not allowed to answer any questions to the media. Unfortunately, corporate wouldn’t have an accurate picture of how much interest walk-in customers take in the new machine.
The physical presence of bitcoin ATMs has played an essential role in the word-of-mouth adoption outside of tech circles. Increased demand at ATM locations leads to increased demand on the exchanges they use, which puts upward pressure on the price – although the transaction limits dull the effect. Bitcoin ATMs and FOMO can contribute significantly as bitcoin bulls return to dominance.
Circle K representative Joel Konicke said in the press release:
“We are very happy to add DigitalMint as a partner and we look forward to working with their team. Partnering with DigitalMint allows us to provide our customers with seamless access to bitcoin, at a very reasonable price.”
According to Coin ATM Radar, the United States has just over 3,200 crypto ATM locations, with large swaths of the country unserved. The budding industry struggles with things like striking partnerships (despite existing ATM contracts), misunderstandings about cryptocurrency, and crime.
At this point, it’s safe to say there’s roughly one bitcoin ATM for every 1 million people. Comparatively, there are approximately 500,000 regular ATMs in the U.S., or about one for every six people.