Bitcoin ATMs Are Springing Back To Life In Japan After 4-Year Hibernation


Bitcoin ATMs are coming out of dormancy in Japan for the first time since the crypto winter of 2018 — allowing residents of Osaka and Tokyo to trade cryptocurrencies from devices other than their smartphones or personal computers.

Gaia Co., Ltd, a local cryptocurrency exchange company, disclosed on Wednesday that it will soon debut crypto ATMs, or “BTMs,” and has set plans to roll out 130 of these machines supporting Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) over the next three years.

A Bitcoin ATM is an Internet-connected terminal that allows consumers to exchange fiat currency for Bitcoins. BTMs allow users to sell Bitcoin for fiat money.

Gaia President Motohiro Ogura emphasized that this is the first time a local exchange has installed cryptocurrency ATMs in the nation.

“It is comforting to know that BTM may be changed into cash instantly. Virtual money tends to garner the most interest as an investment vehicle, but it also has the potential to be used as a settlement currency. I want to expand,” he stated.

Downtown Tokyo. Image: TripAdvisor.com.ph

Bitcoin ATMs Alive Again In Land Of Rising Sun

These systems are distinct from traditional ATMs, which allow bank customers to physically take cash from their accounts. These types of ATMs are instead blockchain-based transactions that transfer cryptocurrency to a user’s digital wallet, typically by QR code.

The calamitous Coincheck breach of early 2018 dealt a heavy blow to the Japanese cryptocurrency sector, rendering crypto ATMs in key commercial locations nearly unusable.

At the start of 2018, hackers broke into its firewalls and carted off around $500 million worth of NEM tokens, prompting lawmakers to shut down all cryptocurrency ATMs across the nation.

In recent years, the number of bitcoin ATMs across the globe has expanded significantly. The United States is currently the undisputed leader with nearly 34,000 machines.

BTMs Growing At Rapid Pace

CoinATMRadar, a platform dedicated to measuring the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in the world, disclosed in December 2017 that the number of bitcoin ATMs worldwide has expanded by more than 100 percent over the past year.

According to sources, the reintroduction of BTMs in Japan would be a first for the country’s crypto economy, as no regulator-approved Japanese company has ever operated these crypto-dispensing machines.

The Bitcoin ATMs will permit customers to withdraw up to $747, or 100,000 Japanese yen (JPY), per transaction, and $2,243, or 300,000 yen, per day. As part of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance efforts, withdrawals are restricted.

Bitcoin is currently selling at $23,202, a decrease of 2.5% over the past week, according to statistics from Coingecko.

BTC total market cap at $442 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

Featured image from Twitter, chart from TradingView.com

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