Coin Cloud Launches 15th Bitcoin ATM!
Seeks to help those left out of financial systerm
It's been said the best opportunities for bitcoin are likely in the developing world, where banking infrastructure is not as prevalent. Yet there are emerging opportunities in the United States for bitcoin as well, as one Las Vegas-based company is proving.
Coin Cloud is the largest bitcoin ATM (BTM) operator on the west coast, with over 15 Bitaccess BTM kiosks currently, and plans to continue the rapid expansion nationwide.
Everyday Coin Cloud sees huge demand for bitcoin in the U.S. among the unbanked and underbanked. Looking to service these communities, as well as customers who seek financial service alternatives, Cloud Cloud has built its business with a reputation on reliability and customer service.
Within the Las Vegas and Los Angeles areas in particular, Coin Cloud has many customers without the right credentials to get a bank account. These customers may have, for example, a passport but not a resident ID often required by financial institutions for an account. Others may not speak English or are intimidated walking into a bank. In these cases, people are essentially “swapping a bank account for a smartphone”, said Chris McAlary, CEO of Coin Cloud.
Helping the underbanked is part of Coin Cloud’s goal, said McAlary. BTMs are enabling customers to utilize smartphones as the standard personal finance tool. These kiosks enable transfer from bitcoin to cash, or vice-versa, without requiring a third-party to transfer funds like a bank. Unlike most bitcoin ATMs, Coin Cloud’s fleet is 100% bi-directional. Giving users the option to save, spend, send, or receive. Coinatmradar.com reports only ⅓ of all BTMs allow the sale of bitcoin for cash.
Many are using BTMs to send money out of the country. These are customers who want to send savings to family and friends in other developing countries, where most of the population exists beyond the reach of traditional financial systems. They don’t have the benefit of simply walking into a local bank branch. With the rise of the cellular networks and smartphones, these places have “leapfrogged” this infrastructure. Remitters in the U.S. can turn cash into bitcoin at BTMs. Then, they can transfer BTC to anyone anywhere in the world over the internet.
Another advantage Coin Cloud capitalizes on, especially in Las Vegas, is bitcoin’s frictionless cross-border capabilities. Coin Cloud has international travelers who come to Las Vegas and use bitcoin to bring their bankrolls.
This eliminates the constraints of daily ATM limits, bank fraud alerts or hazards of carrying large amounts of cash. These customers convert stakes from BTC into cash at BTMs such as the one operating at the D Casino.
Coin Cloud continues to look for prime locations to host BTMs nationwide. McAlary said the best places for BTMs are ones with maximum accessibility. Places like 24 hour convenience stores, vape shops and publicly accessible locations in urban areas are ideal hosts.
Much like conventional ATMs, these are locations where people will use BTMs. “The kiosks draw a wide range of new customers, on average 200-300 a month, that would have otherwise not entered a store,” said McAlary.
There is enormous value to society in empowering those underserved by the existing U.S. financial system. Coin Cloud's vision is to leverage bitcoin for the inclusion of all.