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Bitcoin ATMs are quite popular

 Bitcoin ATMs are quite popular

A new feature has appeared in smoke stores in Montana, gas stations in Carolina, and take-out meals in New York City are Bitcoin ATMs, where customers can buy or sell digital currencies.

Bitcoin ATMs are quite popular

The number of machines has rapidly doubled across the US over the past year, driven by the cryptocurrency frenzy, which has pushed Bitcoin's price up to over $ 58,000.

Kiosk operators such as CoinFlip and Coin Cloud have installed thousands of ATMs in areas competitors have not yet reached, executives told Reuters.

“There is great demand and people want Bitcoin everywhere,” said Mark Shoiket, founder of Quad Coin ATMs for Bitcoin.

As of January, there were 28,185 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States, and nearly 10,000 of them had been installed over the previous five months.

Bitcoin's growing popularity has been the main driver of new installations, and the reasons people are using ATMs rather than online are different.

Some get paid in cash, others lack bank accounts, others want to send transfers abroad or want to anonymize, while others feel more comfortable dealing with a physical machine.

Some devices only offer Bitcoin, while others allow customers to invest in different digital currencies.

Few Bitcoin ATMs can spend cash, and they cost more than regular ATMs or online transactions.

Fees range from 6 to 20 percent of total transactions, and vary by location and ATM operator.

Government agencies raised warning signs about some devices due to their cost and potential illegal activity.

The New Jersey State Investigation Commission detailed some of these concerns in a February report entitled Fraud, Suspicious Transactions, and Suspicious Practices on Cryptocurrency Kiosks.

None of these concerns have halted the growth of the industry, and there are now Bitcoin ATMs in every state except Alaska, as well as in Washington, DC.

Coin Cloud has as many as 1,470 machines across the US, and it expects to have 10,000 by the end of the year.

Although there are concerns that the epidemic could hurt businesses, foot traffic has actually spiked during the lockdowns.

CoinFlip has increased its ATM footprint from around 420 last year to 1800 now, and transactions per ATM have nearly tripled during that period.

CoinFlip charges about 6.99 percent of customers to buy cryptocurrencies and 4.99 percent to sell.

Bitcoin Depot has also increased the number of machines from 500 to more than 1,800 over the past year, and most customers are between 25 and 40 years old and find the machines by searching online.

Stocks of General Bytes, which makes Bitcoin ATMs, were temporarily out of stock last summer as demand soared.

The company sold 3,000 machines last year, and 90 percent of them went to North America.

Not all devices bring in profit, and Quad Coin removed about 200 devices it installed last year because it hadn't turned a profit in six months.