With the Bitcoin digital currency market valued at $70 billion, two local companies are moving quickly to develop a new two-way ATM system for buying and selling the product.
That significant development is now firmly on the path to reality for ASX-listed DigitalX Limited (ASX: DCC) and Stargroup Limited (ASX:STL) who have announced a JV agreement today.
The two companies have agreed to jointly offer and tailor a “Two-Way ATM” solution for buying and selling Bitcoin.
The JV will utilise Stargroup’s end-to-end ATM deployment and electronic payment system services and solutions. Within Australia, Stargroup has deployed approximately 500 ATMs in Star Payments and manages approximately 2,400 ATMs via StarLink.
The key Asia market is certainly a major target for the JV, with Stargroup haing a direct ownership interest in NeoICP Korea Inc, a private Korean company that manufactures ATMs, back office, coin counting, banking and casino settlement solutions. NeoICP Korea has approximately 16,000 ATMs and back office machines in South Korea, bringing the total number of ATM’s managed approaching 19,000.
The JV will also look to take advantage of DigitalX’s specialist iBlockchain technology and advisory company services to enable the launch of the new financial products. DigitiaX has leveraged Blockchain technology and the secure ledger system to create patent pending technology.
The joint venture agreement is for the entire global network of Stargroup ATMs, with the initial roadmap to focus on Australia.
At present, there are less than 20 ATMs in Australia that can facilitate a Bitcoin transaction and “One-Way ATMs”; meaning users can only acquire Bitcoin and add it to their Bitcoin wallet via the ATM.
According to the two companies, the development of Two-Way ATM’s means Stargroup ATMs will not only enable users to acquire Bitcoin but also to instantly convert their Bitcoin to AUD cash at the ATM.
They said that current Bitcoin users looking to “cash out” the process can often take a number of days using existing Australian online digital currency exchanges. They believe that once implemented the Two-Way StarATM’s are expected to solve a significant pain point for Bitcoin users. DigitalX and Stargroup will share in the transaction fees charged at the ATM.
Leigh Travers, DigitalX’s CEO said the company’s growing success in Blockchain consultancy services provides 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,” Mr Travers stated.
Stargroup’s CEO and Executive Chairman, Todd Zani, said his company will 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.
“This development may also be able to be applied to other cryptocurrencies and be distributed internationally,” he added.
The global Bitcoin market has grown from less than $20 billion at the start of the year to over $70 billion today. As seen through the growth in Australia’s Bitcoin Exchange volume and Australia’s internet search interest, Bitcoin has reached a level where a large-scale ATM roll-out provides a commercial opportunity.