Texas-based Bitcoin automated teller machine (ATM) network Coinsource has installed 20 new Bitcoin ATM machines in the US state of Georgia as of early December 2017. Of the new ATMs, 18 machines were launched in the city of Atlanta, while two were installed in the neighboring college town of Athens.
According to Coinsource Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sheffield Clark, their objective in the project is to provide every citizen in the state to access the leading virtual currency Bitcoin and participate in the skyrocketing new economy.
“This is a major opportunity not only for Coinsource but for the cities of Atlanta and Athens as well. Atlanta is one of the most mature Bitcoin ATM markets in the country, so it’s exciting to provide our services to people already showing accelerated adoption of the technology. Our goal is to give everyone the equal ability to access Bitcoin, particularly in times of record demand, and participate in this soaring new economy. Part of making this marketplace accessible is making sure our fees are less than half that of any other operator, and customers will be given fee-free transactions for first-time use of any new machine.”
Current state of the banking industry in the US, particularly in Georgia
Based on a survey by the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), seven percent or nine mln of the total households in the US are unbanked and another 19.9 percent or 24.5 mln of households are underbanked.
The city of Atlanta is among those included in the top 10 most unbanked cities in the country. More than one in 10 households in the city were not involved with conventional banks, while about 30 percent of residents are underbanked.
According to Clark, these unbanked and underbanked residents have to depend on other kinds of services such as pawn shops, check-cashing, and payday loan providers to secure cash and credit.
“Around 30 percent of residents are underbanked, meaning they might have to check accounts, but have to rely on other kinds of services like pawn shops, check-cashing, and payday loan companies to get cash and credit.”