An industry that was non existent a mere 12 months ago is flourishing and profitable, according to Bitcoin ATM pioneers, Lamassu. Internal Lamassu surveys show that standard cash-to-Bitcoin ATM locations are averaging $20,000 worth of transactions per month, whereas prime locations are averaging $40,000 – $60,000 per month. With an average commission of 5.5%, operators are looking at $1,000-$3,000 in gross profit monthly, per machine.
“Bitcoin is moving forward at a dizzying pace and it’s very encouraging to see our
operators recovering their investment within three to nine months,” says Zach Harvey, CEO of Lamassu. “It proves that people appreciate the convenience of Bitcoin ATMs, and that appreciation translates into traffic and sales for our operators.”
Pete Watson, Bitcoin Group HK director, says things are picking up in Hong Kong. “We are starting to get some really good volume on our machines and have just sold our 200th Bitcoin,” Watson says. “The first 100 bitcoins took five months and the second 100, only one month.”
Finland’s first Bitcoin ATM location, operated by Bittiraha, is located in Helsinki’s central train station. “Our record is $50,000 per month, but currently it’s doing approximately $32,000 per month,” says Henry Brade, Bittiraha CEO. Bittiraha has since launched another five locations in Finland. New York City’s first machine has not yet made its numbers public, but the vintage fashion store that houses the machine has been reporting 15-20 Bitcoin ATM only customers daily. The network average has been about $150 -$200 per transaction.
Hungary’s first Bitcoin ATM, also a Lamassu machine, has been well received too. “We had 130 transactions in our first two weeks of operation. This was way more than I expected,” says Barnabas Debreczeni, the owner of the machine. “The restaurant hosting the ATM also started accepting Bitcoin payments upon our launch. They’ve had 70 Bitcoin payments so far, which absolutely beat everyone’s expectation. That means five bills paid in Bitcoin, every day, on average.”
As optimistic as these initial numbers are, it’s apparent that the market is far from being saturated. For reference, the LocalBitcoins peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading site has 290,000 live buy and sell posts globally. One million new wallets were created in past six months alone on Blockchain.info. With under 300 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide, there is still significant room for growth.
“For many people Bitcoin is exciting as a concept, yet still intimidating,” says Harvey. “Our machines enable the bit-curious to put in $5 and easily buy a fraction of a Bitcoin. It only takes fifteen seconds. For many customers, paying a 5% transaction fee for that is well worth it, when they consider the alternatives. Online Bitcoin exchanges may have minimum buy limits and can take several days to start trading, which could prove crucial with Bitcoin’s volatility.”
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