How BTCU.biz launched 4000 Bitcoin ATMs in Ukraine
Yesterday, Habrahabr, a Ukraine news source, reported that A Ukraine-based company had launched 4000 Bitcoin ATMs, which allowed cash to be exchanged for BTC across Ukraine. The company in question is BTCU.biz, a Bitcoin buying and selling service. You can see a map of the new terminals here. The density is impressive: Most Ukrainian citizens likely now have a Bitcoin ATM within walking distance.
So far, most of the attempts to bring Bitcoin ATMs into service have been on a much smaller scale than this, often starting with pilot runs of only a few units. This level of saturation is unprecedented. So how did this relatively small Bitcoin startup succeed on this scale? The trick is that the Bitcoin ATMs aren’t just Bitcoin ATMs. They’re actually conventional ATMs owned by the “National Credit” Bank of Ukraine which have had their software updated to support BTC transactions. By partnering with a popular bank and leveraging existing infrastructure, BTCU.biz was able to leapfrog ahead of many of the dedicated Bitcoin ATM companies, without having to personally raise the capital necessary to put that many machines on street corners.
The machines sell BTC at a rate of $693 per Bitcoin, $45 above the current CoinMarketCap price of $648, a transaction fee of about 7%, which is on the high side, but may well be worth it for the convenience. Converting cash into Bitcoins has historically been by far the slowest and most tedious part of using Bitcoin, due primarily to the risk of credit card chargebacks. Physical ATMs are an elegant, convenient solution to the problem, but have so far been hamstrung by the startup costs of deploying the hardware at scale. Hopefully, BTCU.biz will serve as a model for future Bitcoin ATM roll-outs across the world.
The decision to deploy these machines in Ukraine is a savvy one, due to the country’s technical literacy and recent political instability. Bitcoin is a much more compelling option for daily finance when you can’t necessarily count on the government that backs your local fiat currency to continue to exist in its current form from month to month. Bitcoin usage has been growing steadily in Ukraine for some time, and the new availability of ATMs should drastically lower the barrier to entry for Ukrainian citizens looking to get involved.
The article states that it is a buying and selling service. Does this mean it is a full-fledged ATM in the sense that you can sell BTC and receive cash from the machine?? If not, is this possible through one of there offices? Essentially, I have a friend in Ukraine that I would like to send funds to, but Western Union & MoneyGram have ridiculously high fees. I am wondering if I can use this service to fund a BTC wallet for her… and then have here withdrawal funds from an ATM and/or office. I tried translating their website, but couldn’t get much info regarding this. Anyone else out there more familiar? Any and all additional information is greatly appreciated. Or if anyone knows a better way of sending funds to Ukraine, then that would be appreciated as well. Thank you for your time. Have a great day!
Hi, Ben! We are very glad that owr service is known also beyond the borders of Ukraine 🙂 Our service really deals with buying and selling of bitcoin in Ukraine. You can buy any sum of bitcoins using an ATM of the National Credit Bank (there are over 4,000 of them all over Ukraine) and the btcu.biz website. You will get a receipt containing an activation code, which you have to enter on our website, and also you have to indicate address of your e-wallet. Then you will get your coins.
You can also sell your bitcoins using our service. You must have a credit card of the National Credit Bank (if you haven’t, we will help you get it). We are dealing with UA hryvnyas.
We will be glad to answer any of your questions: [email protected], Skype btcu.biz Support
They steal your money look at there latest victims https://forum.bits.media/index.php?/topic/20475-%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B4%D0%B0%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%BE-%D0%BD%D0%B0-btcubiz-%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%B7%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%89%D0%B0%D0%B5%D0%BC-%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%88%D0%B8-%D0%B4%D0%B5%D0%BD%D1%8C%D0%B3%D0%B8/&page=2