The world’s largest provider of Bitcoin ATMs, Bitcoin Depot, made its debut on the Nasdaq on Monday. After many months of planning, the firm became the first company of its kind to trade on a major US stock exchange.
The price exceeded $6.60 in Monday trading before retreating to $3.34 and holding steady. The debut came on the heels of an $885 million merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), GSR II Meteora (GSRM). Bitcoin Debut and GSRM had been in talks about the merger since at least August 2022.
Bitcoin Depot Currently Operates Over 7,000 Crypto ATMs
Brandon Mintz, CEO and Founder of Bitcoin Depot, called the move an “important milestone” for the company. Bitcoin Depot currently has machines at over 7,000 kiosk locations in 47 US states and nine Canadian provinces.
Bitcoin Depot is one of the few companies in the crypto sector to become publicly traded. Coinbase, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange, and MicroStrategy Inc., a software company with large holdings of Bitcoin, are two others.
Bitcoin ATMs are much like cash ATMs, only people use the terminals to purchase Bitcoin or, occasionally, another cryptocurrency. They allow for a simplified way to convert fiat currency into digital assets.
However, their use has been come in for scrutiny from law enforcement in recent years. Mostly thanks to concerns about money laundering and cases of theft. As recently as March, bad actors stole $1.5 million BTC in an incident involving a General Bytes ATM.
Terminals a Money Laundering Risk
In the UK, police have conducted several raids on addresses operating illegal Bitcoin ATMs, after officials banned their use there entirely in March 2022. The Head of Economic Crime at the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organized Crime Unit said in a May 5 statement that the ATMs were a “key component in the facilitation of money laundering.”
As of this writing, there are only such 10 machines in operation across the entire UK.
Other countries have not been so harsh. At present, the country with the most crypto ATMs is the United States, with 30,997 terminals, according to Coin ATM Radar.
Canada, Australia, and Spain are second, third, and fourth, respectively. However, India, a country with over 1.4 billion people, has only two terminals, both in New Delhi. Japan, a country with 126 million people, has only three.
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