If you’re at all into bitcoin, one hobby you’ll almost certainly pick up is looking for bitcoin “in the wild.” A “Bitcoin Accepted” sign here, a license plate with B1TC01N on the highway, or more recently, a kiosk selling crypto-related goods in a local mall. r/bitcoin is full of listings from people saying “Hey guys! You’ll never guess what I found!”
While roaming around the area where I grew up recently, I was happily surprised to discover not one, but three bitcoin ATMs “in the wild.” One was in a gas station, one was in a smoke shop, and the third was in the lobby of a hotel. Even more than the “Bitcoin Accepted Here” signs, finding ATMs really gets me excited. They represent not only a belief general belief that all HODLers have that bitcoin will rise to be a worldwide currency, but show that someone believed enough to buy the machine and a business believes enough to host it.
The growing numbers of these machines shows unequivocally that bitcoin is not merely a pipe dream – but is a growing movement. And when it hits its tipping point, it has the potential of radically transforming the world. Bitcoin is one more of those innovations that just might change everything.
Along with the spread of bitcoin ATMs, a number of enthusiasts have cropped up creating websites specifically to track and advertise them. One new entrant for Australia is FindBitcoinATM.com.au (or FBA).
This site has a lot of useful features.
- It allows you to see how many ATMs are currently registered as operating in Australia.
- It has a full country map showing the location of the ATMs, zoomable down to street level.
- It has the ability to search for ATMs by location, fees, limits, or function (what other cryptocurrencies they take or if they dispense cash as well as crypto).
- Information about the ATMs – including what type of business they’re located in, what type of machine they host.
- An ability to submit machines for listing should you spot one in the wild or to report when a listed machine is missing or non-functional.
- A guide on the different types of machines currently in production, along with functions, advantages, and disadvantages. This also includes tutorials about what to expect when using the different machines.
- A guide on the pros and cons of buying using the machines (in summary, they’re convenient, especially if they aren’t rigorous with KYC, but the fees can be higher than buying online).
From the list of features, you can see that FindBitcoinATM is more than just an ATM locator service – it’s both a test of real-world commitment to the progress of cryptocurrencies, and it’s an educational tool to help people who may have stumbled onto bitcoin in the wild find out more and get started on their crypto-journey.
And for any businesses that are thinking of purchasing or hosting a machine, it’s a great resources to find out about what kind of ATMs are out there and who else is hosting them. By getting their business listed on a bitcoin ATM tracking site, they get free advertising and likely free traffic.
Right now, FindBitcoinATM.com.au is only operational in Australia, though they are planning to expand to other countries in the future. Given the fact that of the some 2,700 ATMs currently operational worldwide, only about 23 are running in Australia, a country specific site to bring a spotlight on the usefulness of bitcoin ATMs there seems like a smart move.