Three thousand Bitcoin ATMs to launch across Australia

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Three thousand Bitcoin ATMs to launch across Australia
A Star ATM.

Promises instant cashing out.

Almost 3000 Bitcoin automatic teller machines will launch across Australia as part of a venture between an ATM operator and a blockchain service provider.

The joint venture between StarGroup and DigitalX will see 2900 existing ATMs across Australia equipped with technology that will allow Bitcoin enthusiasts to buy and sell the digital currency.

StarGroup has 500 ATMs and a further 2400 through its StarLink subsidiary nationally. 

The machines will be "two-way" ATMs, meaning users can acquire Bitcoin as well as convert their holdings to AUD cash instantly.

The companies say this will solve a pain point for Bitcoin enthusiasts, who generally need to wait days using existing digital currency exchanges to cash out.

They said the adoption of Bitcoin has now reached a stage where a large-scale rollout of Bitcoin ATMs is commercially viable.

The joint venture is contigent on StarGroup developing software for its ATMs that can process transactions; and DigitalX's development of an API to facilitate the transactions.

Australia's first Bitcoin ATM, operated by ABA Technologies, went live in Sydney in 2014. It similarly allows users to buy and sell the digital currency.

According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently 16 Bitcoin ATMs in operation across Australia, located predominantly in Sydney and Melbourne.

The price of Bitcoin has been on a steady rise in recent months and hit a milestone over the weekend, surging above US$5000.

It only topped the US$5000 mark for about 10 minutes, climbing back down from US$5013.91 to a low of US$4867.18 over the next hour.

The digital currency's surge in value is predominantly a result of increased interest from major financial institutions.

The recent fork of Bitcoin - which allows for larger transaction records, lower processing fees and faster transactions - is also likely to have played a role in its recent spike.

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