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The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block Sites

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In this edition of The Daily, we focus on the growing number of bitcoin ATMs in Argentina. Five new devices have been installed recently in Buenos Aires. We also look at a report that Russia’s telecom watchdog plans to spend millions of dollars to restrict access to banned websites and services such as Telegram. And in Greece, the suspected BTC-e operator Alexander Vinnik has been hospitalized after a month-long hunger strike in prison.

Also read: The Daily: Bitfinex Launches Tether Margin Trading, Zebpay Resumes BCH Transactions

Five New Bitcoin ATMs Installed in Argentina’s Capital

The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block SitesIn a bearish year, cryptocurrencies have enjoyed growing popularity in Argentina, a major South American economy that has been through some hard times in the past decades. For example, the trade between BTC and the Argentine peso on the P2P platform Localbitcoins has seen rising volumes throughout 2018. It reached a record high of almost 9.5 million peso (~$250,000) in the week of Dec. 8, according to market data compiled by Coindance.

The number of teller machines exchanging fiat with digital money has also increased significantly and Argentina is now ranking among the countries with the most crypto ATMs on the continent, the Cripto Noticias news outlet reported. Since September, a company called Athena Bitcoin has installed five new devices in shopping malls and supermarkets in Buenos Aires. That brings the total number of bitcoin ATMs in the country to seven. Two other teller machines were installed in the capital city in 2017.

New BATMs have been popping up across the region this year, with dozens of devices now operating in countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, and Mexico. 2018 has also seen the number of cryptocurrency teller machines around the world double to over 4,000 devices, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported. Most of these ATMs support major cryptocurrencies such as BTC, ETH and LTC. The number of devices exchanging BCH has increased to almost 1,400.

Watchdog to Spend Millions on Blocking Online Services

The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block SitesRoskomnadzor, Russia’s Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, is planning to acquire new technology to better combat banned websites and online platforms. The agency is ready to spend up to 20 billion rubles (over $500 million) on its implementation, BBC Russian Service has learned. Sources familiar with the project have been quoted by the media.

The report comes after a year of futile attempts to block Telegram, the popular messenger used by millions of crypto enthusiasts around the world. Its operator, founded by Russian entrepreneur Pavel Durov, is fighting a court decision to ban the service in Russia after it refused to hand over its encryption keys to the Federal Security Service, the country’s major security agency.

According to the BBC, Roskomnadzor is planning to use DPI (deep packet inspection) technology to improve its efforts to restrict access to Telegram and other banned platforms. Currently, Roskomnadzor is trying to curb traffic to these websites and services by blocking the IP addresses they use. This approach, however, has affected many other businesses that have nothing to do with the messaging app.

The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block Sites

For example, this past spring the regulator blocked around 11 million IP addresses and 20 VPN and proxy services offering access to Telegram. Despite the offensive, the messenger is still accessible in Russia and has even increased its users to 3.4 million. According to Russian media, Roskomnadzor may also use the technology to block access to unregulated crypto platforms such as digital asset exchanges.

BTC-e Operator Alexander Vinnik Hospitalized in Prison

Alexander Vinnik, the alleged operator of the infamous BTC-e exchange, has been hospitalized, his lawyer Timofey Musatov told RIA Novosti. Musatov wasn’t able to reveal any more details, but in the last week of November Vinnik went on a hunger strike to protest against prison conditions and violations of his rights by the Greek judiciary.

The Daily: Argentina Meets 2019 With New BATMs, Russia Budgets Millions to Block SitesThe Russian IT specialist was arrested in Thessaloniki last summer on a warrant issued by the U.S. where he is accused of laundering between $4 and $9 billion through the now defunct crypto trading platform, including bitcoins stolen in the Mt Gox hack. His native Russia as well as France have also requested his extradition on charges of other crimes.

Last week, the Supreme Court of Greece ruled that Vinnik should be handed over to the French authorities. His defense team claims the extradition request filed by Paris has already expired. Vinnik himself told Russian journalists in the court room that he would continue his protest in case Greece decides to extradite him to France, Tass reported. He also said he had lost 9 kilograms of body weight since he started the hunger strike.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Bitcoin ATMs Double in Number This Year

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For a markedly bearish year, 2018 turns out to have been pretty good for the spread of cryptocurrency teller machines. The number of bitcoin ATMs around the world has approximately doubled in the past 12 months. More than 4,000 devices in almost 80 countries are now exchanging fiat money for digital coins.   

Also read: Study Finds Less Than 40% of BTC Addresses Are Economically Relevant

Six New Devices Installed Every Day

Bitcoin ATMs Double in Number This YearDespite the falling prices of digital assets throughout most of the year, BATMs have been popping up across the globe at an average rate of six per day, according to crypto data analytics platform Data Light. In a tweet this week, the company noted that businesses installing these machines have been more active in the first months of 2018, when the market caps of most cryptocurrencies were significantly larger.

The numbers recently released by Data Light show that a total of 4,051 ATMs are currently operating on the planet. Most of these devices support several major coins including bitcoin core (4,046), litecoin (2,421), and ethereum (1,993). The number of machines offering bitcoin cash (BCH) has reached 1,356. Many crypto ATMs buy and sell altcoins such as dash (729), monero (120), dogecoin (79), and zcash (67).

Data Light has also published a graph that demonstrates the growth of bitcoin ATMs in the last four years. Since the beginning of 2014, there’s only one month when more BATMs were closed than installed – November 2015. According to the compiled statistical data, a record 257 cryptocurrency teller machines have been launched in April of this year.

Bitcoin ATMs Double in Number This Year

Over 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs Now Operational

According to another source, Statista, the number of ATMs supporting cryptocurrencies has increased from a little over 500 in January of 2016 to 4,036 on Dec. 18, 2018. In a recently published report, the platform points out that the highest number of bitcoin ATMs has been recorded in the United States. At present, over 70 percent of all crypto ATMs are located in North America.

Bitcoin ATMs Double in Number This YearStatista also notes there are two main types of devices – the basic, buy-only machines, and more advanced ATMs allowing users to not only purchase but also sell digital coins. The authors of the study have mentioned the two largest manufacturers of bitcoin ATMs – Genesis Coin and General Bytes – which as of September 2018 controlled around 33 and 29 percent of the market respectively.

According to the most popular BATM tracker, Coinatmradar, there are currently 4,063 crypto ATMs in 76 countries around the world. These teller devices are manufactured by over 40 producers and operated by more than 500 companies.

Coinatmradar’s data shows that almost all teller machines support BTC. At the same, the number of ATMs buying and selling BCH has been increasing rapidly throughout this year and is now close to 1,400.

Do you think the spread of bitcoin ATMs can help the wider adoption of cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.  


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Data Light.


Make sure you do not miss any important Bitcoin-related news! Follow our news feed any which way you prefer; via Twitter, Facebook, Telegram, RSS or email (scroll down to the bottom of this page to subscribe). We’ve got daily, weekly and quarterly summaries in newsletter form. Bitcoin never sleeps. Neither do we.

The post Bitcoin ATMs Double in Number This Year appeared first on Bitcoin News.