Australian companies to provide 2-way bitcoin transactions at traditional ATMs
DigitalX Ltd., and Stargroup Ltd. have inked joint venture agreement to provide a two-way ATM solution for buying and selling bitcoin.
DigitalX is a Perth, Australia-based blockchain technology and advisory company providing services to facilitate the launch of new financial products, according to a press release.
Stargroup, also Perth-based, provides ATM deployment services and solutions. The company has approximately 500 ATMs deployed through Star Payment, as well as 2,400 under management through StarLink and 16,000 under management through NeoICP Korea, an ATM manufacturer in which Stargroup maintains a direct ownership interest, the release said.
The joint venture agreement covers the entire global network of Stargroup ATMs, with an initial focus on Australia.
Currently, fewer than 20 ATMs in Australia can facilitate a bitcoin transaction. The vast majority of these are one-way ATMs that only allow users to acquire bitcoin — usually at a fee of 4–8 percent of the transaction value, according to Coin ATM Radar.
To cash out bitcoin, users must use one of the existing Australian online exchanges, a process that can take several days. The partnership between Stargroup and DigitalX will allow bitcoin owners to convert bitcoin to cash instantly at enabled ATMs.
"Stargroup is pleased to partner with DigitalX on this project and leverage its unique ownership of its ATM manufacturer to develop a two-way ATM where a bitcoin owner can not only buy bitcoin but more importantly can cash their bitcoin out," Stargroup CEO and Executive Chairman Todd Zani said in the release. "This development may also be able to be applied to other cryptocurrencies and be distributed internationally."
Stargroup will develop the ATM software to process a two-way ATM transaction for the bitcoin currency; DigitalX will develop an API to facilitate bitcoin transactions with the ATM software and enable a two-way transaction. The companies will share in the transaction fees charged.
According to the release, growth in Australia's bitcoin exchange volume and internet search interest indicates that the virtual currency has reached the point where a large-scale ATM rollout offers a commercial opportunity.
DigitalX CEO Leigh Travers said that his company views the opportunity as "a suitable fit to offer ordinary Australians exposure to crypto currency. The success of this joint venture with Stargroup will add long-term revenue channels to our business and additional value to our shareholders."