The First Bitcoin ATM in Mainland China Shutters Service Amid Regulatory Crackdown
The first bitcoin ATM in mainland China, which was installed four years ago in Shanghai, has ceased to provide exchange services to bitcoin investors in response to Chinese authorities’ requirements to suspend crypto trading, according to Shanghai-based Jiefang Daily.
Now the bitcoin ATM resides at the BTCChina’s Shanghai office. The machine was produced by an Iceland-based bitcoin ATM manufacturer, Lamassu, and it was installed at a Shanghai cafe in 2014 which attracted a tech-savvy crowd to get their first taste of digital currency. BTCChina staff went to conduct regular maintenance on the machines during that period, including managing its cash and Bitcoin exposure by balancing its inputs and outputs.
Different from traditional ATMs, this bitcoin ATM is small and exquisite. The machine was plugged into a server then which would calculate the bitcoin price based on the real-time bitcoin data from several major bitcoin exchanges and weighted algorithms. If a trader wanted to get some bitcoins, he could press the “START” button on the screen, scanned a QR code of a Bitcoin address(generated within your wallet), put in cash for the amount that he wanted, then the bitcoin equivalent would be transferred to his wallet. This transaction was surely charged with exchange fees. And on this Bitcoin ATM, traders could only exchange bitcoin for cash, not vice versa.
BTCChina, one of China’s largest exchanges, has suspended the regular maintenance of the only bitcoin ATM network in China because Chinese government shuttered domestic crypto trading markets last September. The machine’s screen shows that there is no bitcoin available for trading now, and information from the coinatmradar.com, a site that keeps an interactive map of all digital currency ATM locations, also indicates that this ATM “may not work”.
“putting this machine at the front desk of this office is more of a commemorative significance.”BTCChina staff said.
According to the Coinatmradar.com, the United States is home to greatest number of Bitcoin ATMs with 1,801 machines, while Canada is second with 493 ATMs. However, China has only one such machine in Shanghai.
It can be found on the coinatmradar.com that there are more than 79 Bitcoin ATM vendors around the world, but three of them, Genesis Coin, General Bytes from, Lamassu, account for the largest market share. As regulators across the world have tightened their grip on cryptocurrency trading, the future remains unclear for these bitcoin ATM manufacturers.