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Bitcoin ATMs in Mexico

Another way to help the "Unbanked"

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Bitcoin ATMs in Mexico

Introduction

BTMI bitcoin ATMA Bitcoin ATM (Automated Teller Machine) or BTM (Bitcoin Teller Machine) is a popular means of bypassing the traditional banking system for buying or cashing out Bitcoin (BTC). They have grown in popularity over the years, alongside the rising value of cryptocurrencies and the increased level of trust in them.

Other ATMs allow users to buy and/or sell other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), and Litecoin (LTC), among others. If you haven’t used one yet or would like to learn more about it, keep reading. In this article, we’ll be discussing a few interesting points regarding Bitcoin ATMs. We’ll also provide you with helpful information, such as the typical requirements and steps you need to keep in mind when buying or selling Bitcoin.

  • What is a Bitcoin ATM, often known as a BTM?

An ATM or BTM is similar to a regular automated teller machine in that it is a physical kiosk. What differentiates it from typical ATMs is that it allows users to buy Bitcoin in exchange for cash or debit. Some BTMs also allow users to sell Bitcoin for cash.

BTMs look like typical ATMs. However, they connect to a Bitcoin wallet instead of a bank account. In place of a bank card, the Bitcoin wallet serves as a repository from which coins are sent or debited. Some Bitcoin ATMs look very similar to traditional ATMs because they are indeed traditional ATMs with software customized for Bitcoin.

  • A brief history of Bitcoin ATMs

The first ATM for cryptocurrency was first opened on October 29, 2013. It was a Robocoin machine located in Canada’s Waves Coffee Shop in Vancouver. It only operated until 2015 due to operating errors by Bitstamp, but it is widely recognized as the world’s pioneering Bitcoin ATM. A Bitcoin ATM was then opened in Europe shortly thereafter. It was located in Bratislava, Slovakia, and was installed on December 8, 2013.

Meanwhile, the first Bitcoin ATM in the United States was installed on February 18, 2014, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was, however, short-lived and was pulled out after only a month of operating. Much like the cryptocurrency itself, Bitcoin ATMs have since faced many challenges concerning regulations. Finally, a consensus was reached upon agreeing that Bitcoin ATMs also have to adhere to the same laws and regulations as traditional ATMs. This includes limits on the number of deposits and withdrawals that can be made by a person per transaction and per day. For instance, in the United States, all Bitcoin ATM operators must register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and follow the Bank Secrecy Act’s (BSA) Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations.

The Bitcoin ATM may need your cell phone number to send you a text verification code depending on the transaction quantity. Before completing a transaction, you may be required to scan a government-issued piece of identification, such as a driver’s license. Also, much to the dismay of many crypto enthusiasts, a lot of Bitcoin ATMs no longer offer the anonymity they once did. This is because of regulations in place that require users to verify their identity before transacting, especially for large amounts.

There are currently around 28,000 Bitcoin ATMs globally, with a large majority located in the United States. North America has the world’s largest market share of Bitcoin ATMs, accounting for nearly 90% of the total. Today, the biggest manufacturers of Bitcoin ATMs are Genesis Coin (41.5 per cent market share) and General Bytes.

Most BTMs are found in cafes or specialty shops, as well as transport hubs like rail stations and airports. In general, business owners who want to install a BTM inside a commercial space must enter into a contract with a Bitcoin ATM provider. The provider will then take care of installing the device on-site.

  • How does a Bitcoin ATM work?

Unlike online crypto exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs allow for the convenient buying and selling of Bitcoin. Generally, Bitcoin ATMs require users to have an existing account so they can use the machine. The two types of Bitcoin ATMs, or BTMs, include:

  • Unidirectional Machines: One-way transactions machines that support either the buying or selling of cryptocurrency.
  • Bi-directional Machines: Two-way machines that support both the buying and selling of cryptocurrency.

 

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency Trading in Mexico

 

A decade ago, Luis Sosa, the creative director at a startup in Mexico City, watched with skepticism as his friends invested in bitcoin. Even after they made good on their investments, Sosa kept his distance.

Now, his attitude toward crypto is changing, but not for the reasons you’d think. Sosa said that with the increasingly onerous banking requirements in Mexico, “I am very tempted to use crypto, especially to buy things online.”

Sosa is not alone. In a trend that has largely gone unnoticed outside of the country, Mexico is embracing cryptocurrency at breakneck speed.

In the eight months between September 2019 and May 2020, the trading volume of Mexico’s leading crypto exchange, Bitso, grew by 342 percent, according to the exchange. Earlier this year, Bitso announced it had surpassed 1 million users on its platform, of which 92 per cent were Mexican.

For comparison, there are 35 traditional brokerages in the country with fewer than 400,000 active trading accounts in total, according to Mexico’s financial authority, CNBV.

“It is truly shocking because we are seeing how only one cryptocurrency exchange has demonstrated greater potential than 35 dedicated investment management entities,” said Eloisa Cadenas, CEO of consulting firm CryptoFinTech and professor at the Mexican Stock Exchange Group.

Sosa is drawn to crypto in part because of its potential to transfer money more easily. In Mexico, that is becoming increasingly hard to do. In its effort to crack down on criminal activity, Mexico may have made simple transactions difficult for ordinary citizens as well. The country has long struggled with tax evasion and money laundering. But two years ago, Mexico decided to put substantial prevention methods in place. In August 2019, right before Bitso’s trade volume began its dramatic climb, the government began implementing new fintech laws that sought to govern financial service providers in the banking and private capital sectors, from entrepreneurs to crowd-funding institutions.

According to the new laws, tech firms that hold deposits for users have to register as financial institutions within the country. But compliance was expensive, with applications running over $35,000 and the law requiring businesses—even startups—to have a minimum annual profit of $100,000. National media reported at the time that of the 500 listed startups in the country, 201 had to be approved by regulators to continue operations. Once the new laws rolled in, only 85 ended up applying for accreditation. Bitso was among the firms approved to continue operations in Mexico.

In order to comply with the new banking laws in Mexico, PayPal announced it will no longer be holding deposits in customer accounts. Now, it only processes payments as an intermediary, which means Sosa can no longer maintain a balance on his account. When Sosa’s mother, based in New York, wants to send him money, she can use PayPal or Western Union if she pays a transaction fee. Instead, she sends funds from her Apple Pay account to Sosa’s, where the funds remain inaccessible until he travels to the U.S.

With the increasingly onerous banking requirements in Mexico, I am very tempted to use crypto, especially to buy things online. Crypto trading platforms can facilitate faster money transfers at a lower cost than banks. According to Cadenas, who is also pursuing a PhD in financial engineering, the combination of Mexico’s stringent new banking laws, expensive financial services, and large unbanked population is driving public interest in cryptocurrencies.

Like in other countries, crypto is used primarily for speculation and trading in Mexico, Cadenas said. But the multibillion-dollar flow of remittances into the country, particularly from the U.S., and the difficulties involved in money transfers, have created a unique business opportunity for crypto platforms that promise to make transactions easier and cheaper. Internally, we can say that the use of cryptocurrencies is becoming more attractive compared to what other financial institutions offer, “Cadenas said.”

Mexico is at the forefront of financial tech innovation in Latin America, coming in at number one with 238 fintech-related startups. Brazil (219 points) and Colombia (124 points) round out the top three.

Recently, the fintech sector in Mexico has seen official regulation. In 2018, the Ley Fintech, as it was called, was passed with the support of the Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV). Then CNBC came out in favour of the law, which simplified and updated regulation around online financial services, including crowd-funding services and cryptocurrency trading platforms.

In addition to a clear legal framework, Bitcoin enthusiasts in Mexico enjoy a wide range of available services. There are a number of international exchanges available locally (including Coinbase) and some solid home-grown offerings such as Bitso and Bitlem.

In September 2021, Bank of Mexico Governor Alejandro Daz de León said Bitcoin resembles “a dimension of precious metals” when compared to the central bank’s fiat money. His statement wasn’t meant as an endorsement but as a warning because of the price volatility associated with cryptocurrencies.

Still, as Bitcoin’s popularity and acceptance grows, the cryptocurrency could fulfill a number of important roles in Mexican industries, from the cutting edge of financial technology to remittance payments.

  • Mexico’s Best Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Exchanges
  • eToro
  • Supports Bitcoin, Ethereum & 15 other coins
  • Start trading fast; high limits
  • Clean & easy trading interface
  • Coinmama
  • Works in almost all countries
  • Highest limits for buying bitcoins with a credit card
  • Reliable and trusted broker
  • Coinbase
  • High liquidity and buying limits
  • Easy way for newcomers to get bitcoins
  • “Instant Buy” option available with debit card
  • Bitcoin Wallets for Mexico

There are three main types of Bitcoin wallet and all of them are supported in Mexico:

  • Software (desktop or mobile – iOS and Android wallets
  • Hardware wallet
  • Cold-storage
  • Does Coinbase work in Mexico?

Coinbase is available in Mexico. Mexican users can buy cryptocurrencies and convert them between them. Credit and debit cards are the only payment methods accepted, meaning no bank transfers or PayPal.

  • Location where to find a Bitcoin ATM in Mexico?

Bitcoin ATMs are a convenient way to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for cold, hard cash. This method usually incurs relatively high (5-10 percent) fees, but that’s the price to be paid for the convenience of getting cash for your Bitcoin in less than half an hour. There are also many hidden costs that the average user doesn’t recognize. Often BTM operators will charge 5-10 percent in transaction fees but unbeknownst to the user, they charge another 15%-25% on the spot price of bitcoin.  Many ATM operators publish live prices for their machines, so you can see the exact rate you’ll get before even visiting the ATM.

Some will require you to complete identity verification, though for many, this is as simple as confirming a phone number.

The Bitcoin ATM Locator lists 10 bitcoin ATMs in Mexico. Mexico City is home to four Bitcoin ATMs; Culiacán has two, and Guadalajara, Monterrey, Santiago de Querétaro, and Tijuana each have one.

  • What is the price of Bitcoin in Mexico?

A Bitcoin price varies because it changes every second. The best way to find the most up-to-date price of Bitcoin is to check out the Bitcoin price page.

Another good way to check the price of Bitcoin in Mexico is to go to the exchange of your choice and check the price in your local currency that Bitcoin last sold for. The price of an asset is just this: the value of the compensation for which it was most recently exchanged. This price differs across markets, i.e., one exchange may have a slightly lower or higher price depending on varying barriers to entry and liquidity. So, the price that most matters are the one you can actually trade at. This is most likely to be the price on the exchange you use the most.

  • Buy Bitcoin in Mexico Using PayPal

There are a number of ways to buy Bitcoin in Mexico using PayPal. However, there are a number of things to take into account when buying Bitcoin with PayPal.

PayPal is notorious for payment disputes, meaning sellers often add large markups to offset the risk of having the payment reversed. Also, varying slightly depending on you and the counterparty’s countries of origin, there will be a roughly 3% fee to take into consideration.

eToro is another option for those in Mexico looking to buy Bitcoin using PayPal. eToro is an online stock and crypto brokerage that allows you to fund your account using PayPal, as well as Skrill and Netteller. Once your account is funded, you’re free to trade all supported assets on the platform, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and Litecoin.

  • How do I send money to Mexico using Bitcoin?

As an unconfiscatable digital asset that is accessible wherever there is an internet, Bitcoin is ideal for remittances. The process of sending Bitcoin from one address to another is identical regardless of where the sender and recipient are located. There are no extra steps required that make sending Bitcoin internationally any different from sending it next door.

Likewise, the blockchain fee you will need to pay in order to have your transaction sent is the same, whether you’re sending to the other side of the world or just another of your own wallets.

  • Are there any Bitcoin debit cards available in Mexico?

Bitcoin debit cards are a very convenient product born from the combination of the crypto world and legacy finance. They allow you to load crypto (almost always Bitcoin, and often with other supported assets like ETH or DAI) and spend it anywhere that debit cards are accepted. If the crypto is not automatically converted to fiat at the time of payment, you will need to pre-convert it, usually within your card provider’s app.

Most cards issued are Visas, though recently, MasterCard has been accelerating its offerings in the space and in July partnered with Wirex, a crypto card service.

  • How do I cash out of Bitcoin in Mexico?

The abovementioned Bitcoin debit cards allow you to withdraw cash from any ATM. Bitcoin ATMs are another way to exchange your BTC for fiat currency.

You can use our Bitcoin ATM finder tool to find the one nearest you. Perhaps the most straightforward way is to use any exchange that has a BTC/MXN trading pair, such as Bitso or Bitlem, which are reviewed above. You can sell your Bitcoin for pesos and then cash out those pesos into your bank account.

Another option is using LocalBitcoins and other P2P exchanges. Here, you can buy and sell Bitcoin for a wide range of payment methods, from gift cards to bank transfers. LocalBitcoins is a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange, where you buy and sell with another individual. This does introduce a degree of risk, though by ensuring that you conduct all business on the platform, making use of its escrow services, and only trading with users who have a good reputation, you’ll minimize any potential problems.

As selling Bitcoin for fiat currency is usually considered a taxable event, you’ll want to make sure you comply with local regulations regarding the taxation of capital gains. Check out our guide to the best cryptocurrency tax software to help you maximize your profits.

Conclusion:

The future of Bitcoin ATMs: Bitcoin has continued to increase in value since its inception in 2013. Back then, one Bitcoin was worth around $200. Years later, it’s worth has risen to thousands of dollars despite price fluctuations. Alongside its massive growth in value, the number of Bitcoin ATMs has also increased exponentially. This highlights the continuing patronage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

As the world continues to shift to digital solutions by and large, including financial transactions, Bitcoin and other cryptos are also expected to become even more popular.

Since Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first-ever Bitcoin, it has remained an independent online currency, free of the grip of regulatory bodies and large financial institutions.

This is also the reason why a lot of global leaders, financial elites, and economists have repeatedly raised suspicions about it. However, owing to Nakamoto’s “near-perfect code,” thankfully, the Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked since it was invented.

Despite this, there is no guarantee that the Bitcoin blockchain will remain impregnable indefinitely. Nonetheless, investors and enthusiasts are riding on its track record and remain assured of the cryptocurrency’s continued security and success.

Congruent to that, it is highly expected that Bitcoin ATMs will likely continue to increase in number and popularity over the next few years. People like them because they are accessible, convenient, and novel. Bitcoin ATM fees remain one of the technology’s major flaws, but as of now, it can’t be helped, as it affords a lot of people a secure and convenient way to purchase crypto.

If you’re planning on buying or selling Bitcoin through a Bitcoin ATM, remember to check online resources first so you can gauge which Bitcoin ATMs offer the lowest fees. Also, ensure that you are always inputting the right details (such as details about your digital wallet), as there is often no way to undo transactions caused by such errors.

 

My personal suggestion and opinion is to work with BTMI at their WEBSITE. They have been in the business for 7 years, have a massive network and will soon be the largest international BTM network worldwide.

 

We hope this article helped you learn about the basics of Bitcoin Teller Machines. As always, feel free to check our homepage regularly for the latest rates, news, and updates about various cryptocurrencies.

Darren Olayan – Blockchain Advisor

About the Author

Darren Olayan is a blockchain advocate deeply experienced in the development, promotion, and services.  Through both positive and negative experiences, Olayan has become proficient in the vague constantly shifting regulation side of blockchain and spent years advising companies on licensing procedures.  Darren is adamant that the blockchain, smart contract and NFT technology will change the world of technology and has the potential to level the playing field worldwide.  Darren has over 20+ years working internationally specializing in the Pacific Rim from New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Japan to North, Central and South America.  He is currently expanding into Europe and Africa and other parts of Asia

 

 

 

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