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Democratization of Digital Technologies: Crypto ATMs

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Greater accessibility for everyday people to digital technology is the key to breaking the concentrated asset control of states and governments.

Only when people have the control, not  the ruling States or  the governmental organ, can we speak of “democratization” of digital assets. 

In the longing to achieve new goals, to consolidate and improve what already belongs to us the power of blockchain stands out.

Analyzing the functional characteristics of blockchain technologies, terms such as safety and immutability, stability, decentralization, disintermediation emerge.

Diffusion of centralized control is the only option for democratization and mass adoption, whether it is cryptocurrencies or the multiple fields of application in which the blockchain is declining.

A positive step towards the goal of the diffusing centralized control via blockchain is also represented by the increasing number of Crypto ATMs.

The term ATM is known to all of us, but what is a Crypto ATM? 

How do Crypto ATMs Work?

Bitcoin ATM Radar reports the existence of 7,831 ATM Crypto, as of May 14, 2020, with a spread in 73 countries, with 5,855 locations in the USA only, of which 733 concentrated in Los Angeles area and 952 in Washington DC.

This number not only takes into account Bitcoin Atms (Btcs), but also includes those that support other assets, such as Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH), Dash (DASH) and Litecoin (LTC).

A Bitcoin ATM, or a BATM, shares some similarities to bank ATMs, but there are some technical differences between the two.

Regular bank ATMs let user deposits and withdraws own money, as well as to dispense cash.

BATM transfers funds to and from a Bitcoin address.

Through the machine, the user is connected to an exchange and can select the function user wants to execute (Buy/ Sell).

After transaction confirmation, the bitcoin is deposited into the address provided by the user.

Not all Bitcoin ATMs are built alike. Some only allow user to buy cryptocurrencies, while others include both buying and selling options.

Some machines allow to transfer bitcoin anonymously, while others will require ID or even fingerprint scanning.

The actual process of purchasing and selling bitcoin is different depending on the machine.

Some BATM providers buy in advance and stock the machine with Bitcoins, while other operators connect their ATM to an online exchange, which effectuates the transfers for the user.

The processing times may vary significantly.

The most popular Bitcoin ATMs that connect to an exchange when users buy/sell bitcoin are:

·     Genesis1 machine from Genesis Coin

·     Satoshi 1 or Satoshi2 machine from Genesis Coin

·     https://lamassu.is/

·         General Bytes BATMTwo (one-way)

·     General Bytes BATMThree (two-way)

·     Bitaccess

User can access Coin ATM Radar or Bitcoin ATM Map to check if a BATM is near own location.

A general BUY process at all bitcoin ATMs is:

VERIFICATION STEP. May vary substantially depending on machine’s type
PROVIDE BITCOIN ADDRESS FOR DEPOSIT . Optionally can be generated and printed/emailed at some ATMs on the fly
INSERT CASH INTO THE ATM
CONFIRM OPERATION. Bitcoins sent to user’s bitcoin address
To SELL bitcoins for cash using Bitcoin ATM, the steps are:

VERIFICATION STEP. May be optional, but normally for sell operations the operator will require user to identify. However the identification procedure may vary for different machine types
SEND BITCOINS TO THE GIVEN BY BITCOIN ATM QR CODE
Depending on the settings user will either GET CASH OUT OF THE MACHINE IMMEDIATELY (may be set for small amounts), OR user will BE GIVEN THE REDEEM CODE AND NEED TO WAIT FOR BITCOIN TRANSACTION CONFIRMATIONS
Not all bitcoin machines support generating and printing of address on receipts. Many don’t even support printing receipts at all.

All Genesis Coin ATMs (Genesi1, Satoshi1, Satoshi2) can do this.

General Bytes two-way BATMThree model (except for one-way BATMT), BitAccess machines and BitXatm bitcoin ATM can generate and print receipt with bitcoin wallet address.

If users don’t have their own wallets, they can choose the option to generate an address. The machine will print a brand new paper wallet for user at the end of the process or before the purchase, which will contain a public key and a private key.

Please remember that a public key is something user can be seen by others. However a private key is something user needs to keep very secret, like a Fiat ATM PIN number, as anybody who has access to it can use and send bitcoins from this address.
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