Liverpool city in the UK has got its first Bitcoin ATM installed by AlphaVend, a digital currency ATM operator. The move could help meet growing demand from crypto enthusiasts in the city.
The ATM is located inside the retail shop Herman Vapes on the Cases Street and is now open for public use. The opening hours are 10.00am - 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and 12.00pm - 4.00pm on Sundays.
"We are really excited to be the location chosen by Alphavend for the first ever Bitcoin ATM in Liverpool, and we are sure it will attract plenty of interest,” a spokesperson for Herman Vapes said.
The installation will help to make crypto transactions easier and will also improve its accessibility among new users. They can simply exchange cash for Bitcoin using a free Bitcoin wallet, which can be downloaded on their smartphones, without having to sign up on any crypto exchange.
Alphavend plans to install more such ATMs in the UK over the coming months, as the public interest in Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies continues to grow exponentially.
Currently, there are more than 3,000 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide. And as per some media reports, every day nine new Bitcoin ATMs are getting launched. With traditional banking sector still shying away from legitimizing crypto trade, these ATMs are currently serving the needs of crypto users. However, reportedly, almost 66% of crypto ATMs provide only one-way transactions (allowing customers to deposit fiat currency and withdraw cryptocurrency), which is seen as a major drawback. Further, these ATMs usually require users to comply with KYC standards which are often overbroad and unclear.
Overall, the role of crypto ATMs needs to be further enhanced. While most ATMs are currently catering to the most liquid and popular currencies like Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash, it is expected that in the future, ATMs will be calibrated to support for other currencies as well. However, this ability to provide a truly decentralized ecosystem will require commitment and a serious investment in developing the robust infrastructure.