Australian ATM provider Stargroup has entered into a joint venture with blockchain technology company DigitalX to roll-out ‘two-way’ Bitcoin ATMs across its global network, commencing with Australia.
At present, there are only 16 ATMs in Australia that can facilitate a Bitcoin transaction. A vast majority are one-way ATMS, meaning users can only acquire Bitcoin to add to their Bitcoin Wallet via the ATM, and conversion fees range between 4% and 8% of the transaction value, according to website Coin ATM Radar.
Within Australia, Stargroup has deployed approximately 500 ATMS and manages a further 2,400 ATMs via its subsidiary StarLink.
In a press release announcing the joint venture with DigitalX, Stargroup stated: “the development of two-Way ATMs means StarATMs will not only enable users to acquire Bitcoin but also to instantly convert their Bitcoin to AUD cash at the ATM. For current Bitcoin users looking to “cash out”, the process can often take a number of days using existing Australian online digital currency exchanges, Once implemented, the two-Way StarATMs are expected to solve a significant pain point for Bitcoin users.”
“The global Bitcoin market has grown from less than $20 billon at the start of the tear to over $70 billion today. As seen through the growth in Australia’s Bitcoin Exchange volume and Australia’s internet search interest, Bitcoin has reached a level where a large-scale ATM roll-out provides a commercial opportunity.”
Todd Zani, Stargroup’s CEO told Dynamic Business said the joint venture will address a significant pain point for bitcoin wallet holders; namely, Bitcoin can ‘quite easily’ be bought through a number of exchanges but it is difficult to cash out.
“This joint venture will enable Bitcoin wallet holders to instantly cash out their bitcoin instead of having to wait several days or weeks to convert bitcoin into cash via effectively a peer-to-peer network,” he said.
“Having the ability to dynamically convert that currency like you would any other currency will be extremely attractive to Bitcoin holders.”
Zani noted two-way Bitcoin ATMs could assist businesses with their cashflow and that the development “may also be able to be applied to other cryptocurrencies and be distributed internationally”. Leigh Travers, DigitalX’s CEO added that the joint venture was “an opportunity… to offer ordinary Australians exposure to crypto currency ad blockchain security.”