Around mid-November 2017, the most well-known cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, took to new heights. This time, a news report confirmed that there are almost 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs. A Bitcoin ATM is an ATM that allows people to exchange Bitcoin for cash. While many retailers and service providers have welcomed Bitcoin – ranging from online food service providers to shopping giants of the online world – not everyone has fully gotten onto the Bitcoin influence, the harsh reality can’t be neglected. With success stories pouring, it’s seen as a massive step forward that Bitcoin users now have a way to turn their cryptocurrency into the local currency used to pay for goods or services.
There is still a long way to go. This is especially the case of what Bitcoin ATMs are (or rather, aren’t) spread out across the world. Of the 75 countries with the Bitcoin ATMs, statistically 2000+ of in the United States, followed by Canada. Even MEDCs (more economically developed countries) such as Italy, the Netherlands, and Portugal have less than 100 of these Bitcoin ATMs between them.
Still, Bitcoins users are positive. Not just because it provides them with an easy way to turn their cryptocurrencies into real cash while they’re traveling but because it addresses a longstanding issue within the community using cryptocurrencies.
How Are Banks Embracing Cryptocurrencies?
We’re a long way off until the big banks include a Bitcoin option too. Many of the Bitcoin ATMs are operated independently. However, big banks may eventually get to that point and we have already seen significant movements when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption at mainstream financial institutes.
Facts abound. On November 16, it was reported that Amazon and the Bank of America had both been awarded cryptocurrency-related patents. One of the Amazon patents, according to filings, shows an additional layer of security in order to protect digital signatures and encrypted communication. Regards are also to data storage and how it will be grouped together and distributed. Both of these patents related heavily to cryptocurrency, including KYC (Know Your Customer) proof and verification and blockchain maintenance. The patent held by the Bank of America, on the other hand, was submitted all the way back in 2014 discussing the way how enterprise accounts will store the cryptocurrencies of their clients.
Other banks in the list are Morgan Stanley and Maerki Baumann. A report explains that the firm plans to offer Bitcoin swap trading for its clients. This will reportedly begin when the firm confirms to demand from its clients, very soon. Meanwhile, Bitcoin Magazine’s report on Maerki Baumann states that the private Swiss bank is prepared to go ahead, by offering to manage its clients’ cryptocurrency assets for them.
Why Banks Need to Adopt Cryptocurrencies
While the steady adoption of cryptocurrencies will be great news to enthusiasts, some may be concerned that banks are mostly doing this out of fear. A major concern within the financial community is that cryptocurrencies could become even more of a significant rival to fiat money.
It worth concerns, especially considering that some of the most valuable industries have already begun to embrace cryptos in a big way. Cryptocurrency is being used in the fashion and beauty worlds to track the popularity of clothing connect people with dermatologists. Meanwhile, Bitcoin’s value is currently too small for small-stakes gamblers to play casino games with, but, benefits such as instant transactions make it especially useful for the casino market where players want to enjoy games instantly.
In fact, the speed of transactions was recently in a new Ripple ad, which noted that its users can send the cryptocurrency via text. As Ripple noted, trading fiat currency overseas digitally is really slow, and new technology needs to replace it with immediate effect so that the industries can work much smoother. Similar to this, the stable values of different cryptocurrencies are putting pressure on banks, according to the managing director of the IMF, giving banks another reason to be concerned.
If banks are to heed the words of economists, it will take a lot more than a few thousand more Bitcoin ATMs being installed until they have fully embraced cryptocurrency. Financial newspapers of UK noted that banks employ lesser cryptocurrency experts than the demands and actual requirement, in a startling highlight of just how unprepared banks are for this digital revolution. Progress is being made, though, which means there is every reason to wait and watch for the unfolding world of cryptocurrencies.