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Bitcoin ATMs coming to San Antonio. I don't get that's meaning for cryptographic money?

Inside of an unassuming convenience store along Callaghan Road sits an ATM that’s likely different than any you’ve used before. The machine allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency widely known for its volatile value — as well as the ardent support it enjoys from cryptocurrency enthusiasts and the intense skepticism many business leaders and academics have toward the digital currency.

What is Cryptocurrency ATMs?

San Antonio currently has about 31 cryptocurrency ATMs — largely located in gas stations and convenience stores — that are owned by several different operators. They allow users to create an account, then buy and sell Bitcoin for a fee, typically between 5 and 20 percent, according to Coin ATM Radar, a site that tracks the installation of the ATMs globally.

Coinsource, one of the largest cryptocurrency ATM operators in the nation, announced recently it was “ramping up deployment” of the machines in San Antonio and across Texas. The increase of the ATMs, Bitcoin advocates say, will greatly enhance the accessibility of the digital currency to the public as the machines are adopted, and will move Bitcoin from its original home on the fringes of the internet into the commercial and monetary mainstream.

Bitcoin is the most widely-used Cryptocurrency  Mining. Proponents tout the decentralized nature of the digital currency and its use outside of the traditional banking and financial system.No central bank or single nation owns or operates the Cryptocurrency Price system. The goal for supporters of the currency is to allow anyone in the world to make peer-to-peer monetary transactions at any time without having to go through financial or governmental intermediaries.

Bitcoin, which was created in 2009 but remained difficult to acquire until recent years, has fluctuated wildly in value since becoming more popular earlier this decade. After peaking in value at around $20,000 per Bitcoin in late 2017, the digital currency tumbled to below $3,200 per coin by mid-December of last year.

Coinsource, one of the largest cryptocurrency ATM operators in the nation, announced recently it was “ramping up deployment” of the machines in San Antonio and across Texas. On a recent day, Oct. 2, Bitcoin’s value hit $8,414 per coin, only to drop by around 3 percent hours later, according to, which tracks cryptocurrency prices.

A Little History About Bitcoin ATMs

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs in the U.S. has dramatically increased over the last five years, especially within the last year, according to Coin ATM Radar. The first Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. was installed in March 2014. By Oct. 1, 2016, there were 429 ATMs nationwide. Since then, the number has grown to over 3,800 cryptocurrency ATMs across the country. In the last year, nearly 1,500 additional cryptocurrency ATMs have been installed nationwide.

“We are spearheading mainstream adaptability and accessibility to be able to buy and sell a cryptocurrency,” said Derek Muhney, director of national sales with Coinsource, the cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer and operator.“We definitely see (the number of cryptocurrency ATMs) going to six figures and beyond,” he said.

But while local cryptocurrency investors laud the introduction of additional crypto ATMs in San Antonio, others are skeptical of the currency and the ATM proliferation.“Easy access to Cryptocurrency Mining through ATMs is actually detrimental,” said Ashwin Malshe, a professor of marketing at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and an expert in e-commerce and cryptocurrency.

“When you hold U.S. dollars in your bank, you don’t wake up the next morning and see your bank account is worth 50 percent of what it was yesterday. That can happen with cryptocurrency — that can be somebody’s life savings wiped out overnight,” Malshe said.

Amenities Offered by Cryptocurrency ATMs

But crypto-optimists and proponents of the ATMs say they provide benefits such as offering communities without banks or credit unions access to financial tools, including storing and sending money. One example might be a person without a checking or savings account purchasing Bitcoin on an ATM and sending the money elsewhere, or simply saving it to lower the risk of carrying a large amount of cash, according to Muhney.

Muhney said the ATMs provide a way for users to buy or sell Bitcoin instantaneously. Users can also exchange the digital currency for cash on the spot. Traditional online Bitcoin exchanges — chiefly Coinbase — allow people to trade Bitcoins, but users can wait for weeks to receive their money or Bitcoins.


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