Australia to get 2,900 Bitcoin “Two-Way” ATMs

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Bitcoin gamblers in Australia were treated with some great news this week as online tech portal ZDNet revealed that a local ASX-listed (Australian Securities Exchange) company Digital X has partnered up with fintech company and ATM provider Stargroup to supply Australia with a large number of “two-way” Bitcoin ATMs.

According to the update, instead of resorting to around two dozens of ATMs that are currently in existence, most of them only selling Bitcoin, local players of Bitcoin casinos will now be able to find a large network of machines they can use to both buy and sell their Bitcoins.

A Joint Operation

The partnership was revealed in a statement to the ASX this Monday which said that the two companies will be working together to roll out around 2,900 Bitcoin ATMS in the country. Around 500 of them are directly operated by Stargroup, while 2,400 will be managed through Stargroup’s subsidiary StarLink. According to the statement, the current process for cashing out Bitcoin can take days with a digital currency exchange online but their ATMS will allow instant conversion of Bitcoins into Australian dollars and vice versa.

For this purpose, Digital X will be working on building an API that could facilitate such transactions while Stargroup will be developing the software for the ATMS that would allow the processing of Bitcoin transactions. Digital X has also built a secure ledger system by using blockchain technology, which would help for the Bitcoin transactions to be released at all of Stargroup’s Australian ATMs. The transaction fees will be shared by both companies

The two companies are no new faces in the fintech industry, nor are they unfamiliar to the Australian public. Digital X is 40% owned by Blockchain Global, who run their own Bitcoin exchange ACX.io, which was reportedly the largest BTC exchange in Australia by volume, Blockchain Global CEO Sam Lee claimed in February. It was also through a partnership with a Perth firm Lateral Pty Ltd that they started producing blockchain-based products for major enterprises in the country and Asia.

Stargroup, on the other hand, has ownership interest in South Korean ATM manufacturers, NeoICP Korea, who also provide coin counting, back-office, and banking solutions. The company also has around 16,000 ATMs in South Korea.

More Bitcoin, Tighter Regulations

The “overhaul” of Australia’s ATM network is coming not long after the government announced they will be regulating Bitcoin exchanges in the country more tightly in order to battle the misuse of digital currencies for criminal activities. According to a CNBC report, the local government has recently proposed a set of reforms that would bring BTC exchanges under the watchful eye of the AUSTRAC (Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre).

Speaking to a press release Michael Keenan, Australia’s Justice Minister, informed the media that this was the first time cryptocurrency exchanges will be regulated and that regulation was to play a vital role in Australia’s national security.  But while the decision could be  looked at positively as it signifies the widening acceptance of Bitcoin ‘s influence by governments, for most Australians who use Bitcoin to play casino games or move funds it surely will be frustrating if regulation was to lead to the loss of Bitcoin’s cherished anonymity.

September 6, 2017: • No Comments

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