Chicago is known to be one of the finance capitals in the USA, but there’s more to it. Recently, it was discovered that Chicago is one of the fastest growing city for Bitcoin ATM machines. Already home to proportionately large numbers of Bitcoin ATMs, Chicago is about to get a lot more. The decision was made to target the city based on its higher-than-average cryptocurrency adoption rates.
According to a report in Chicago Business, the city is about to receive an additional 30 cryptocurrency ATMs. These will be provided by Lux Vending under the brand, Bitcoin Depot.
The new terminals will allow customers to trade physical dollars for Bitcoin, Ether, and other digital assets. They will join an ever-growing number of such machines in the city. You might think that Bitcoin Depot is the only one tackling this space for Bitcoin ATMs, but that isn’t the case in Chicago. There are a few other startups looking to make an impact by manufacturing Bitcoin ATM machines as well.
These include Red Leaf Chicago, who own 60 of the city’s machines. This represents 30% of their 200 machines currently operational across 21 states. Alongside Bitcoin Depot and Red Leaf Chicago is Athena Bitcoin. This startup only owns three ATMs in Chicago since it has set its sights further afield at the international market – particularly in South America, where digital assets are constantly gaining in popularity, largely through necessity.
Despite not choosing to target the city as heavily as others have done, the CEO of Athena Bitcoin, Eric Gravengaard, told Chicago Business that he could see why the location was popular based on “a large degree of adoption.”
He did not mention why they didn’t target larger cities like San Francisco and New York.
Chicago is looking to make a dent in blockchain and Bitcoin
Other signs of Chicago’s warming to cryptocurrency include the large base of operations Coinbase has in the city and the number of crypto-related startups from there, such as ErisX and SeedCX – both of which are developing trading platforms of their own.
The downside about these Bitcoin ATM machines is that it comes with hefty transactions fees, which people aren’t happy with. Bitcoin Depot machines reportedly require users to pay between ten and twenty percent of the total amount of dollars they wish to exchange for Bitcoin. That is more than it cost to sell your Bitcoin on Coinbase and withdraw it directly to your bank account.
There are many other ways that are just as quick and convenient to get exposure to digital assets. It does not matter what the purpose of that exposure is – shopping online or investing – no one wants between ten and twenty percent of their purchase amount to be immediately taken to cover fees.