Chicago is rolling out 30 new cryptocurrency ATMs, bringing the Windy City’s total to 226 or nearly 9% of the total 2,568 Bitcoin ATMs in the US, according to data compiled by Coin ATM Radar.
The new Bitcoin Depot kiosks will be installed by Atlanta-based Lux Vending, which already maintains Bitcoin ATMs in the city as well as 18 states across the US including Illinois, California, Ohio and Texas. The majority of the new machines will be installed at Shell Gas stations in a push to integrate cryptocurrencies into mainstream locations.
Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mintz says his company is serving a very niche customer base that will be able to feed cash into the machines and exchange it for digital codes with Bitcoin balances that can be used, for example, to make online purchases.
Bitcoin Depot was featured last year in a PBS primer on buying Bitcoin.
In addition to the ATMs in Chicago, the city is home to CME Group, Cboe Global Markets, Coinbase, startups ErisX and SeedCX, businesses that have been growing the crypto scene by building onramps, infrastructure and crypto products that offer exposure to digital assets through futures and direct ownership through purchases.
Chicago-based Athena Bitcoin, which also operates kiosks in the city, has expanded into South America where it launched the first Bitcoin ATM in Argentina at a Buenos Aires shopping mall last year. Meanwhile, manufacturer Cryptobuyer installed the first Bitcoin ATM in Venezuela.
In Bogotá, Colombia, Panda Group has installed a hybrid point-of-sale device and crypto ATM. The company, which runs crypto trading platform Panda Exchange, installed the first portable Xeler unit in La Tortata, a pastry shop in Bogotá where customers can now pay for baked goods using crypto.
— Bitcoin News (@BTCTN) January 31, 2019
The unit also allows customers to purchase and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and stablecoin DAI through Panda Exchange.
Founder Arley Lozano says the Xeler is a noncustodial system that allows merchants to maintain full control of their money. According to a report by Bitcoin News, the first purchase was settled in Bitcoin Cash.