Australian firm Stargroup plans to modify the company’s network of ATMs to provide them with Bitcoin trading capability, as part of a new deal with blockchain company DigitalX. The initiative will begin with the conversion of 500 of Stargroup’s Australian machines, dramatically increasing the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the country. As part of the deal, Stargroup will reportedly share ATM transaction fees with DigitalX.
The move will provide Australians with easier access to the digital currency – while also offering them trading features that many digital currency holders have long demanded. Once the Stargroup machines are fully converted, those ATMs will enable users to purchase Bitcoin or sell their digital currency in exchange for the nation’s fiat currency.
There are currently no more than two dozen Bitcoin-capable ATMs in Australia, and few offer two-way digital currency trading. Most only allow users to exchange their fiat currency for Bitcoin. As a result, those users are forced to rely on Australia’s digital currency exchanges when they need to exchange their cryptocurrency for dollars - a process that can sometimes take several days to complete.
According to a report in Business Insider, Stargroup CEO Todd Zani has suggested that the company’s new venture could offer a path forward for increasing access to other digital currencies in the future, noting that "This development may also be able to be applied to other cryptocurrencies and be distributed internationally."