Why bitcoin ATMs are taking over malls and gas stations across the U.S.

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A different kind of ATM is setting up shop in your local convenience store.

These machines look like traditional banking kiosks, but they allow customers to buy bitcoin in cash.

Bitcoin ATMs, or BTMs, exploded in popularity between 2020 and mid-2022, at the height of the crypto craze. At their peak, BTMs totaled 34,000 across the U.S., according to Coin ATM Radar.

More and more people are using bitcoin ATMs to send money at lightning speed. A study from Bitcoin Depot, the company with the largest share of BTMs across the U.S., found that two-thirds of their customers use the machines for remittances and online purchases. But these machines have also gained a reputation as a vehicle for crime. Scammers can send their victims to these kiosks to take advantage of the faster transaction speeds.

Watch the video above to learn more about what’s driving the BTM boom, why these machines attract crime, and how prosecutors plan to fight back.

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