We’re all used to ATMs in supermarkets and shops. Some charge for getting your money and some do not.
But recently, Bitcoin ATMS have started to appear in betting shops, general shops and elsewhere.
These don’t give you money – instead, they let you buy Bitcoins.
Bitcoin is a cyber currency that has been in the news a lot recently due to its rising price, thefts of Bitcoins and its use by online criminals.
These new machines are used by people wanting to invest in Bitcoin cyber currency but also there is anecdotal evidence that they are used by criminals. Some shopkeepers estimate that 50% – 80% of use is by drug dealers and other criminals wanting to change large amounts of cash into something they can access elsewhere, plus the cash is effectively laundered i.e it appears legitimate.
Once purchased, Bitcoins can be changed back into any currency in many places around the world.
The shopkeepers where the Bitcoin machines are situated sometimes get a flat fee of £100 – £400 per month and sometimes they can get up to to 30% commission.
This shows that the charges the buyer has to pay to the machines must be very high to allow for such commission to be paid to the shopkeeper.
The machines generally have a limit of about £500 per transaction, but no limit on the number of transactions per person.
For criminals, these machines are ideal repositories for their ill-gotten gains.
The price of Bitcoins rose rapidly throughout much of 2017 but it is very volatile and could easily crash at any time and become almost worthless.
Do leave a comment on this post – click on the post title then scroll down to leave your comment.