October 4, 2022

Bitcoin ATMs are coming out of hibernation in Japan for the first time since 2018’s crypto winter — allowing residents of Osaka and Tokyo to exchange cryptocurrencies from devices other than their smartphones or PCs.

Gaia Co., Ltd, a local cryptocurrency exchange, revealed on Wednesday that it will soon debut crypto ATMs, or “BTMs,” and has set plans to roll out 130 of these machines that support Bitcoin (BTC). Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in the next three years.

A Bitcoin ATM is an Internet-connected terminal that allows consumers to exchange fiat currencies for Bitcoin. BTMs allow users to sell Bitcoins for fiat money.

Gaia President Motohiro Ogura emphasized that this is the first time a local exchange has installed a cryptocurrency ATM in the country.

“It’s comforting to know that BTM can be turned into cash instantly. Virtual currency tends to garner the most interest as an investment vehicle, but it also has the potential to be used as a settlement currency. I want to expand,” he said.

Downtown Tokyo. Image: TripAdvisor.com.ph

Bitcoin ATMs are coming back to life in the land of the rising sun

These systems differ from traditional ATMs, which allow bank customers to physically withdraw cash from their accounts. These types of ATMs are instead blockchain-based transactions that transfer cryptocurrency to a user’s digital wallet, usually by QR code.

The disastrous Coincheck breach in early 2018 dealt a heavy blow to the Japanese cryptocurrency sector, rendering crypto ATMs at key commercial locations almost useless.

In early 2018, hackers breached its firewalls and wiped out about $500 million worth of NEM tokens, prompting lawmakers to shut down all cryptocurrency ATMs across the country.

In recent years, the number of bitcoin ATMs around the world has expanded significantly. The United States is currently the undisputed leader with nearly 34,000 machines.

BTMs are developing at a rapid pace

CoinATMRadar, a platform dedicated to measuring the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in the world, revealed in December 2017 that the number of bitcoin ATMs worldwide has expanded by more than 100 percent in the past year.

According to sources, the reintroduction of BTMs in Japan would be a first for the country’s crypto economy, as no Japanese company approved by regulators has ever used these crypto-dispensing machines.

Bitcoin ATMs will allow customers to withdraw up to $747 or 100,000 Japanese yen (JPY) per transaction and $2,243 or 300,000 yen per day. As part of our anti-money laundering (AML) compliance efforts, withdrawals are limited.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $23,202, down 2.5% over the past week, according to statistics from Coingecko.

BTC total market cap at $442 billion on the daily chart | Source: TradingView.com

Featured image from Twitter, chart from TradingView.com

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