LibertyX, one of the crypto industry’s top retailers of Bitcoin Automated Teller Machines (ATMs,) is looking to ride off Bitcoin’s recent rally to improve accessibility to customers. To that end, the firm has announced the launch of Bitcoin-to-cash sales that will come to thousands of its ATMs in the United States.
Easier Access for Holders
Per an announcement published yesterday, LibertyX confirmed that it had rolled out direct Bitcoin sales at its ATM locations. The company explained that participating ATMs would allow customers to directly sell their Bitcoins for cash, bypassing the need for debit cards. It is an improvement on LibertyX’s business structure, which hitherto only allowed customers to make debit card-based Bitcoin purchases.
The announcement confirmed that 5,000 LibertyX ATMs would support the feature. It’s unclear whether this is the total number of ATMs sold by the company or whether it plans to make any expansions.
On the rationale for the move, company CEO and co-founder, Chris Yim explained that they were looking to improve access to Bitcoin. The CEO pointed out that Bitcoin is on a yearly high at the moment, and customers will undoubtedly be looking for ways to sell their tokens without dealing with banks and wire transfers.
“There are almost 15,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the U.S., but fewer than 2,000 allow consumers to sell bitcoin for cash. Our ‘cash-out’ product deployed across 5,000 ATMs triples the number of Bitcoin ATMs where consumers can sell Bitcoin, furthering our mission of putting Bitcoin on every block.”
The Bitcoin-to-cash feature is the latest in a line of expansion moves from LibertyX, as the company continues to improve its core business operation and break more ground.
In June, the firm made a splash after announcing that it had partnered with several retailers – including CVS Pharmacy, 7-Eleven, and Rite Aid – to allow their customers to buy Bitcoin with cash. Customers would have to download the firm’s mobile app, select the retailer location they want to visit in advance, and scan their barcodes when they get to the ATMs.
While LibertyX and the Bitcoin ATM sub-industry are thriving, the latter has also faced significant regulatory pushback over alleged links to money laundering operations this year. In June, the blockchain analytics firm CipherTrace reported that 74 percent of ATM transactions made from ATMs in the United States last year went to foreign countries. The report also found that 88 percent of American ATMs sent to crypto exchanges were sent overseas.
Speaking with Law360, CipherTrace CTO John Jeffries forecasted that these machines would become a more significant point of regulatory concern in the future.
Some countries have already begun tightening their regulations. In Canada, crypto exchanges and Bitcoin ATM operators now have to register as Money Service Businesses. ATM operators also have to report all transactions worth 10,000 CAD or more.
Elsewhere, the German Financial Market Authority (BaFin) launched a crackdown on unregistered Bitcoin ATMs this year. Going forward, more countries could follow suit.