Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan are back from the dead after their disappearance during the 2018’s crypto winter, enabling Tokyoites and Osakans to trade crypto from machines other than their phones and computers.
Crypto ATMs — also commonly known as BTMs in Japan and elsewhere — were previously scattered generously throughout major commercial areas. That is until the devastating Coincheck hack of early 2018, which nearly destroyed the Japanese crypto market.
In the following period, the popularity of crypto investment in Japan has crashed alongside the confidence of investors caused by the Mt. Fox incident of 2013-2014. Months after the Coincheck incident, BTMs —which used to be monumental to Japan’s crypto industry — closed down and decommissioned.
According to Mainichi and Nikkei, four years have passed since a BTM was still operating in Japan. Now, as the BTM machines are making their reappearances in both Tokyo and Osaka.
Based on a press release, Gaia BTM spearheaded this movement, stating that traders can now purchase or sell bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), and litecoin (LTC) at the machine.
In the months ahead, Gaia BTM stated that it would continue to deploy machines across the country and plans to have 50 BTMs operating within the gap of a year. It also aims that in the next three years, that expansion goes up to 130.
The media reported that this is a first for the Japanese crypto industry due to no other regulator-recognized firm in Japan having ever operated BTMs; all previous machines were created from foreign countries or unregistered local businesses.
Osaka-based company Gaia BTM is a licensed crypto exchange, in which the company is legally allowed to carry out transactions with its own platform.
In order to seek out possible money laundering attempts, the company added that the BTMs have built-in “anti-crime measures” to combat the issue.
Withdrawals will be allowed in units of 1,000 yen (USD 7.64), limited up to 10,000 yen on transactions. Daily withdrawals for users will also be limited to up to USD 2,290.
According to Gaia BTM, coins like BTC have the potential to become “payment currencies”, and for that reason, it wanted to “expand” into crypto-related payments environments.