Indian-based Bitcoin exchange, Unocoin is using the Bitcoin ATM system to overcome the limitations created by the ban by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
This ban prohibits banks from engaging in transactions that involve cryptocurrencies. The route provided by bitcoin ATM reveals one way that the technology is enabling the public to break off from the absolute control of institutions.
Considering the above scenario, Coinstituency (Cy) asked Michael Vogel, founder of Netcoins about other ways that Bitcoin ATMs are helping users achieve effective financial freedom. Also inquired of Vogel was his rating on the current awareness level of the crypto community with regards to Bitcoin ATMs.
Another important area discussed Vogel involves the fundamental factors that could encourage the growth in popularity and spread of Bitcoin ATMs in achieving more significant mainstream recognition.
Making Crypto Accessible
In his response to Cy, Vogel explained that Bitcoin ATMs have historically been a way to open up access to crypto and make it available. According to him, banks not letting customers wire to an exchange is becoming increasingly irrelevant as these customers can now use a Bitcoin ATM instead. “Bitcoin ATMs can serve as an alternative where banks and credit card companies are blocking Crypto related transactions”, he said.
Vogel further explained that Bitcoin ATMs also played an important role during the height of the financial crisis in Greece. He noted that citizens couldn’t withdraw funds from their own bank accounts for a period, and as a result most Greeks have very little trust in their banks.
“There is a natural appeal for Bitcoin because of this fact – Bitcoin users can continue to transact regardless of any government or bank, saya Vogel. “We’re seeing similar scenarios in unstable countries in South America, where Bitcoin is ironically less volatile than fiat currency inflating out of control”.
Although not its original intent, Vogel notes that as the network of Bitcoin ATMs continues to grow worldwide, it opens up the future possibility of “remittance nodes” where people can send and receive local currencies while using Bitcoin as the backend tool to make it possible.
While considering the limitations of physical ATM machines, Vogel noted that dealing with physical machines (maintenance and real estate costs) are an obvious downside, and the main advantage to a virtual/mobile Bitcoin ATM. He explains that Netcoins’ Virtual Bitcoin ATM (TM) allows retailers and entrepreneurs to sell Bitcoin in their community without needing a physical machine.
The proliferation of Crypto ATMs is an important step in mainstream crypto adoption, and if you ask most people that use Bitcoin, they have likely interacted with a Crypto ATM at some point.