The city of Chicago is notorious across the world. Not just for being lovingly called “The Windy City”, but also for its national sports teams, and, of course, it’s mafia and gang history. But it looks like Chicago will be the home of a new kind of “turf war”, which is going on between three different Bitcoin ATM manufacturers. Who will come out on top, and who will bite the dust?
Twelve Bitcoin ATM’s In and Around Chicago
When you take a closer look at the statistics provided by CoinATMRader, you may have noticed the city of Chicago – and its suburbs – host no less than 12 Bitcoin ATM’s. To put that number in perspective, the entire country of The Netherlands hosts 12 Bitcoin ATM’s as well, and the entire United States host 137 Bitcoin ATM’s nationwide. That means Chicago is home to 8.75% of all Bitcoin ATM’s in the United States; quite a staggering number.
The question is, why is Chicago such a popular area for Bitcoin ATM manufacturers all of a sudden. Granted, this is a city housing millions of people, and all the ATM locations are a fair distance from each other. As of February of 2015, a total of 5 additional ATM’s had been installed in the city of Chicago, and another 3 in its suburbs – Naperville, Evanston and Homewood.
As you would come to expect, with so many Bitcoin ATM’s in one major city, the door is wide open for some good old fashioned competition among manufacturers. Genesis Coin is clearly the major player here, with 7 of the 12 Bitcoin ATM’s manufactured by this company. BitAccess is taking up second place, with 3 machines, followed by Lamassu and BitXatm with 1 machine each.
Location, Location, Location
As stated before, none of these 12 Bitcoin ATM’s are in close proximity to one another, all being fairly spread out over the city and suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. Judging by the locations of these machines, there is a pattern between general stores, bars, and even malls. All these places are frequented by lots and lots of foot traffic, making them perfect locations for a Bitcoin ATM and spreading the word about the digital currency.
Another interesting fact about these 12 Bitcoin ATM’s is the fact that most of them are two-way machines, allowing you to exchange fiat to and from Bitcoin. Most of these machines will have a daily limit, and all of them will impose KYC verification after you hit a certain limit. Regardless of that, every machine will let you exchange fiat currency into Bitcoin at any time – depending on the location’s opening hours of course.
Average Bitcoin ATM Fees Lowered
Having a high level of competition in the Bitcoin ATM manufacturing world is a positive trend of the consumers. Whereas most of these machines charge a fee of anywhere from 5-12% on top of the exchange value as a commission, the average commission value has dropped to 5.58%. Keeping in mind there are 412 Bitcoin ATM’s in the world – at the time of publication – this number may vary depending on your location.
It is interesting to note that this number is valid for both buying and selling Bitcoin at an ATM. Despite the number of two-way Bitcoin ATM’s still being lower compared to its one-way counterpart, it looks like the Bitcoin ATM market is evolving slowly in a positive manner. As more of these machines are deployed, fees will get lower, and Bitcoin adoption can thrive.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Genesis Coin