A BTM or a Bitcoin ATM is a machine that allows people to buy or sell Bitcoins with Fiat. The first BTM in the world was installed in a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Canada. The United States got its first BTM in 2014 in a cigar bar in New Mexico. BTMs have been popular since then and as interest in cryptocurrencies went up, more BTMs have been installed across the country. They provide an easy way for common people to buy Bitcoins and when they want to spend their money stored in Bitcoins, they can go to the nearest BTM and withdraw fiat. It is very similar to traditional ATMs in terms of ease of use.
In fact an existing ATM business can leverage the infrastructure in place and add BTM facilities for their users.
ATMs are spread far and wide and the recent numbers show as many as 173 ATMs per 100,000 people in the US. This is a huge market and while there is no formal estimate of the number of users, common knowledge dictates that majority of population uses these at least once a month for petty cash withdrawals.
Cash handling cost reduction
Most of the transactions in a BTM are usually where a customer deposits cash and buys Bitcoin. Business gets an advantage of picking up cash from the BTM and re-fueling it in the ATM. This reduces cash handling costs for the business.
Reduction in setup cost and time
An ATM business has already identified an outlet that has sufficient visibility and regular customers. It has almost everything necessary for the business to function so it would be easier to get a professional to set up a BTM machine compared to someone who is starting a standalone outlet.
A running ATM will have hundreds and thousands of customers who live in that area and operate it at least on a monthly basis. Most of them would have heard of Bitcoin and have wanted to own some but did not get around buying it because of inertia or because of signup process on an exchange or because they do not trust an online platform with their credit card details. But with a BTM nearby, they could capture the fantasy of a lot of first time buyers.
Increase in ATM volume
Placing a BTM close to an ATM will raise the volume on the ATM because customers who want to buy Bitcoins will generally pick up cash from the nearest ATM and then deposit it in the BTM to buy Bitcoins.
Leverage existing infrastructure
Since the business already has existing outlet, security, and cash handling processes and infrastructure in place, they could leverage the same and host a BTM outlet as well. Also, an ATM business has familiarity with regulation and how a money business works.
Leverage existing relationships
An ATM business has established relationships with location owners and banks. This will make it very easy for them to set up a BTM and operate it.
First mover advantage
As Bitcoin / Cryptocurrencies grow in usage, these businesses will have a first mover advantage and a lot more customer drive towards their outlets compared to just ATM outlets.
Leveraging the existing ATM businesses would not only be beneficial for businesses but for customers and for Bitcoin or Cryptocurrency adoption in general.