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According to a joint venture agreement, Stargroup will update its ATMs to enable users instantly convert, withdraw, and trade the digital currency.
Blockchain software solutions provider DigitalX has teamed up with Australian ATM developer Stargroup to rollout ‘two-way’ bitcoin ATMs across Australia.
Under the partnership, the companies will upgrade around 2,900 existing machines to allow users acquire and sell bitcoin. According to the press-release, the updates are planned for the entire global network of Stargroup’s ATMs, starting with Australia. The company has deployed nearly 500 machines across Australia and operates about 2,400 via its subsidiary Starlink.
“Stargroup is pleased to partner with DigitalX on this project and leverage its unique ownership of its ATM manufacturer to develop a two-way ATM where a bitcoin owner can not only buy bitcoin, but more importantly can cash their bitcoin out,” said Stargroup CEO, Todd Zani. “This development may also be able to be applied to other cryptocurrencies and be distributed internationally.”
Today, there are only about 20 ATMs in Australia that accept the digital currency, while conversion fees can cost between 4% and 8% per transaction. Besides, the majority of these ATMs are “one-way”, what means users can only purchase the crytocurrency.
The transaction fees charged at the ‘two-way’ ATMs will be shared between the two companies.
“With our growing success in blockchain consultancy services we view this opportunity as a suitable fit to offer ordinary Australians exposure to cryptocurrency,” said DigitalX chief executive, Leigh Travers.
It now takes several days for bitcoin holders to cash out via Australian online crytocurrency exchanges. With new solution, bitcoin users will be able to instantly convert their virtual money to fiat currency via ATMs.
Last year, a large number of bitcoin users lost their funds because of hacker attacks. Bitcoin ATMs, meantime, allow people to buy digital currency and keep it in a safer physical wallet. Besides, it is easier for beginning users to use ATMs instead of creating an account on online exchanges.
Stargroup recently revealed its full-year net profit for 2017 totaled $1.9 million, rising by 254% from 2016. The company’s revenues increased by 128% to $8.3 million, with the growth being attributed to a number of successful acquisitions.
Australia is now looking to promote the growth of the digital currency and financial technology sectors. In July, it finally removed double taxation on virtual currencies, what had been impeding the development of fintech startups in the country. Later in the same month, Australia cooperated with Japan to drive innovation in the financial industries of both countries.
Recently, Australian senators Sam Dastyari and Jane Hume declared the Reserve Bank of Australia needs to make bitcoin an official currency and even develop its own digital currency.
Maenwhile, a team of researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia are working on a new model of blockchain that will be able to handle 400,000 transactions a second. Researchers believe that the new system, called Red Belly Blokchain, will revolutionize the global economy as it will enable almost instantaneous procession of cryptocurrency transactions.