Following the success of Europe’s leading electronics retailer’s Bitcoin ATM trial, 12 new Bitcoin ATMs will be installed at Austria’s MediaMarkt stores. After a Bitcoin ATM pilot in Austria, MediaMarkt, a German electronics retailer, concluded that Austrians have “sufficient funds” for more Bitcoin ATMs.
MediaMarkt has deployed Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in 12 of its branches around Austria, including Seiersberg and Klagenfurt. Over 200 Bitcoin ATMs are managed by Confinity and its spinoff ATM company, Kurant, across Austria, Germany, Spain, and Greece.
Thomas Sperneder, Kurant’s Head of Marketing & Sales, Europe, said: “Bitcoin vending machines have been installed at MediaMarkt outlets across the country. These are now available in twelve marketplaces and allow for the simple and secure purchase of cryptocurrencies.”
A successful pilot project with a single Bitcoin ATM in a MediaMarkt store showed that “Bitcoin ATMs in businesses provide a chance to attract new customers.” Sperneder said that “buying Bitcoin and cryptocurrency was linked with digital-savvy people,” but ATMs provide an alternative:
“Stationary vending machines provide a low-threshold alternative for purchasing cryptocurrencies in order to obtain Bitcoin conveniently and safely.”
MediaMarkt is Europe’s largest consumer electronics retailer, with over 850 locations and a revenue of more than 21 billion euros (R 353bn) in 2021. MediaMarkt collaborated with Coinfinity, an Austrian Bitcoin firm, to manage the ATM pilot and subsequent implementation.
Bitcoin ATMs (automated teller machines), often known colloquially as BTMs (Bitcoin teller machines), allow Bitcoin aficionados to cash out their BTC or deposit fiat currency. They can obtain satoshis (the smallest denomination of BTC) or cash by just scanning a wallet address. BitBase, a Spanish Bitcoin ATM company looking to operate in Portugal, has created physical branches in Lisbon, but official openings have been halted by regulators. The future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in the EU is dubious in light of the EU’s “attack” on noncustodial wallets.
Sperneder believes that having Bitcoin ATMs in stores helps retailers “participate financially in the stationary selling of cryptocurrencies.” Given that Austria will add 12 more Bitcoin ATMs to its current total of over 110, Europe’s Bitcoin ATM rollout maybe just getting started.
The announcement of more Bitcoin ATMs coming to Austria is positive, given that the global growth in Bitcoin ATMs has halted in 2022. Santo Blockchain will deploy 50 Bitcoin ATMs to Panama.
Due to a lack of regulatory structure, the United Kingdom recently cracked down on unregistered ATMs as the Financial Conduct Authority takes a harder position on Bitcoin ATMs.