Bitcoin cryptocurrency seems to be popular in Philadelphia – the region has about two dozen machines or shops that will take your money and turn it into Bitcoin, as told by the website CoinATMRadar.com, which locates Bitcoin ATMs and marks them on the map. The cryptocurrency can then be used for buying online without the need of a credit card, sending money overseas quickly or gamble on the online gambling sites.
Another convenient use of the bitcoin is to buy drugs on the dark web, as federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations told us.
These machines or shops seem to be multiplying these days, which is logical considering the fact that the value of bitcoin has been on a rise. Since January 2015, the value of a coin got from $220 to between $2,800 and $3,000 as of now.
Even celebrities and athletes jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon, promoting the cryptocurrency and therefore spiking the interest of the public even more.
Kevin Werbach, a Wharton School professor that studies Bitcoin, said that there is a lot of excitement about it and that the supplies aren’t enough for the high demand.
Bitcoin is now the dominant digital currency, and it is independent of any government or bank. Transactions are recorded and verified on a blockchain database that then gets shared on a worldwide network of computers. The technology behind these is what makes the industry analysts say that the transactions are more secure than using a credit card.
Bitcoin is accepted by legitimate businesses nowadays, with the most famous one being Microsoft, even though only for things such as games, movies, and apps in the Windows and Xbox stores. Some of the others are Etsy, an online crafts marketplace, and overstock.com. You can also donate to certain political action committees in bitcoin if you wish to do so.
Coinbase and Poloniex are where the most Bitcoin is being traded. They are online operations that match buyers and sellers, and the exchanges are strictly regulated by federal and state agencies and need to follow the same rules as applied to banks. The clients of the exchanges in question are mostly high-end investors speculators and financial institutions, which resulted in U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission noticing them and announcing that they want to put further regulations into some transactions.
The ATMs get the less important clientele, industry experts say. No further identification is needed than a cell phone number, and the ATM companies are mainly focusing on spreading in areas where there are not enough banks around.
Federal agents believe that because of how little the ATMs ask for, they are a good place to buy Bitcoin if you want to use it for malicious reasons. Bitcoin is notorious for being the favorite currency of the dark web, mainly for buying drugs.
Despite that, the experts do say that if you are a newbie and want to get into the cryptocurrency world, the ATMs are the place to go, because you can invest anything from $5 to $100, no confusion involved.