Crypto ATMs and KYC/AML : Coin ATM Radar Patrick Meuller ②

We are excited to share this interview that we had with Patrick Mueller from Coin ATM Radar. He talks about their ATM Radar service, and about the different roles of operators and providers. Please check it out to see where the nearest Crypto ATM is located from you.


Patrick Meuller  (Coin ATM Radar

Date : 9th March 2020    

ATMs will Increase in the coming Years

We do believe that ATM numbers will continue to grow over the years. At the moment, the cryptocurrency world is still very isolated and there is no circular economy; this means that users who own cryptocurrency need to exchange it first to fiat in order to make everyday transactions. Speaking about the scope of exchanging cash with cryptocurrencies, ATMs play one of the biggest role. Also there are many large scale operators who do this as a profitable business and plan to install hundreds or even thousands of new machines. Today we have a little more than 7000 crypto ATMs worldwide, so we are still at the very beginning. Looking at the past history of installations chart,it is seen that growth is not linear, and so we expect this trend to continue.

Money Laundering is more likely to happen with Traditional Financial Systems

The operators who run ATMs need to follow local regulation, which includes KYC/AML policies in place. In different countries, thresholds are different. Up to some volume it is usually possible to trade without doing KYC and this is very important for privacy of many people, for larger volumes customers might need to register with operators. All major manufacturers have functionality for KYC procedures, each operator needs to enable a set of features they need or disable the ones they don’t need. 

It is important to understand that you hardly can launder money with $200-500 limit. Actual laundering of money highly likely happens with traditional financial systems within banks and on a totally different scale. Requiring full registration starting from amount 0 doesn’t make much sense, and brings more issues to users. Keep in mind that there are more than 500 operators worldwide, and when user needs to scan their documents (passport scan or ID card), this information is stored by operator. How the user is supposed to know how securely this data is stored and not leaked at some time in future. Many operators close activity, and the reasonable question — what happens with all data that was collected. So we usually recommend to keep KYC requirements as low as it is legally possible in the area where ATMs are operated.

Challenges we are Striving to Solve 

We try to constantly improve our services, which includes adding new functionality on the website and developing both mobile apps to make search for people easier. One of the recent challenges was how to display the cheapest ATMs because there are various commissions operators charge, e.g. % commission on top of market rate and also flat fee per transaction.


In the past we had algorithm that was sorting cheapest locations using only percentage fees, however, some operators took advantage of this and were setting fixed fees as large amounts, like 10-15 USD per transaction. In the end they were shown on top of lists, because they charge relevantly low % commission, e.g. 5%, but due to high flat fee their effective rate was much higher. For example, if you buy $100 in bitcoin and you pay 5% commission + $15 as a flat fee, you end up paying 20% in total. Now this is fixed and we take both fees into account, however, many operators (especially those who have higher than average market fees) disable reporting.

Our main target to help users find locations where they can securely trade their cryptocurrencies. We list various coins on the website, e.g. both BTC and BCH are listed. We have ETH, Dash, LTC etc. Every user can find a location that best fits their use-case. Crypto ATMs are still one of the most secure ways for exchange using cash. Another option to meet someone and do a trade in person, but then there is much higher risk of getting into problem compared to using ATM from an established business. So the main goal we try to achieve is help people to stay secure and private as cash transactions are considered more private than for example a transfer from a bank to exchange irrespective of controversies that may happen.




The Article published on this our Homepage are only for the purpose of providing information. This is not intended as a solicitation for cryptocurrency trading. Also, this article is the author’s personal opinions, and this does not represent opinion for the Company BTCBOX co.,Ltd.