Sage Investment Club

Recently I was shopping in an electronics store and was pretty surprised when a wild Bitcoin ATM appeared. Some background: I’m from Germany and crypto ATMs were not generally banned here, but they required a license from a local authority (BaFin) which was rather hard to get. As a consequence they were extremely rare here, especially in my region (this is no a major city at all). In fact I’m in crypto for over 5 years and this is the first BTC ATM I ever encountered.The ATMs are operated by Kurant, an austrian company with a branch in germany.BTC ATM in my local electronics store. Note it was placed right next to the trash can. Some subtle foreshadowing.So since I’m for long in crypto I know enough that I should not use this thing. It’s expensive and not a smart thing to do. So naturally I went straight to trying it out. First bummer: I can’t use it without registering before and doing a KYC. So I took a flyer and went back home. Registered, did KYC with the same process used by Binance. When it was successful I made myself ready to drive back to the store… Next bummer. It needs to be verified by hand. Binance didn’t do this. Well, it was late already so I had to wait for the next morning.Today I got up and got an email that my KYC was confirmed. And let’s go, can’t wait to burn my hard earned money. When I found the ATM the first time I was so excited, I didn’t even check the price, so this time I had a look at it! Amazing, crypto must have pumped hard while I was driving!The ATM sells BTC, ETH and LTC – Crypto must have pumped hard while I was driving to the store.So I took out my phone and wanted to confirm the surprising bullrun, but of course I found the prices where they were the last time I have checked them:Kraken prices at the same time.So all jokes aside, how does the pricing of the ATM look like? It’s about 8% over spot for all 3 currencies. This fee was very clearly communicated during the next steps, the ATM doesn’t hide them from the user. Considering it, there was really no reason to use it, except for science.One good thing I have to mention is, the ATM was really easy to use. I just entered my phone number I used for registration and got a verification code I had to enter. Afterwards I entered the pin I choose during registration and could scan the wallet I wanted to receive the crypto on. The ATM also offers to print out a paper-wallet if you don’t have crypto wallet with you.The minimum order is 50€, there is a daily limit of 2500€ and a monthly limit of 10000€. I bought all three currencies in the end, 100€ in BTC, and 50€ in ETH and LTC.After the transaction was done and confirmed, it took about 5-10 minutes until the funds arrived in my wallet. Since this was inside a store I could at least spend the waiting time without problems. It looks like the coins originated from Bitstamp. After everything arrived, this is how my balance looked like:My balances after spending 200€ at the ATM. I just gifted away 16.50€. I shouldn’t have done this.So this experience went about as expected. I overpaid the crypto pretty hard, but not as hard as in some stories I have heard. I have to admit one thing: After registration the ATM was damn easy to use, but the KYC process was the same as every exchange. Buying crypto spontaneous is not possible at the device as the registration will take about a day.So should anyone use them? No, I don’t think so. Not even criminals can convert their cash in crypto here without getting in trouble. Why are these ATMs spawning now in germany, within the bear market? I did some research and found a pretty obvious explanation for it. Someone obviously tried them out before me (german source) and talked with the owner of the store. They explained the target group are russians living in germany who can’t send money to their family on traditional ways. And I can imagine the same may be true for some other user groups as well. And no matter what one might think about the political background from this, you can’t deny one fact: This is one of the reason crypto was made. I find it a pity that people in needs are exploited with this rather large fees though.And even if this experience left a rather bad taste in my mouth, it was still exciting to just run into an BTC ATM randomly and make my first “real world crypto” transaction. I’m still waiting to find an opportunity to pay somewhere with crypto, and I hope it won’t take another 5;dr: BTC ATMs expensive! Don’t use! But it was fun using it nonetheless!

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