The patent would enable a cash handling device to utilize blockchain technology to “accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions”. The patent document also claimed that the device would “reducing its physical cash transportation needs”.
More interestingly, the patent claims the device would be “multi-tenant” or multi-purpose with many stakeholders having access to the devices’ software, whereas most current ATM software is only accessible by the operating bank. Overall, the patent also claims that the “data transport layer will be open and robust while ensuring full encryption and security”. This is not Bank of America’s first interest in cryptocurrencies since they have previously filled more than 50 blockchain related patents.
Rise of cryptocurrency ATMs
[tweet https://twitter.com/georgedonnelly/status/1058459023928946691 align=’left’] The growing interest in cryptocurrency ATMs is not new since entrepreneurs are looking to provide consumers with an easier way to buy and sell cryptocurrency. This past summer, Dash was integrated into Coinflip, which introduced 80+ new Dash ATM locations. Additionally, CoinLogiq provides two-way ATMs that harness the power of Dash and other cryptocurrencies in Colombia, Brazil, and are looking to expand into Venezuela and other Latin American countries. Another new player is Vault Logic, which proclaims they offer “cash as a service” on their website and already have numerous ATM locations during beta testing. They not only offer two-way exchanges, but also the ability to pay bills and buy gift cards through the ATM. Based on Bank of America’s patent description, Vault Logic has the most similar concept. [tweet https://twitter.com/realVaultLogic/status/1056957575294406660 align=’right’]
Cryptocurrency ATMs could play a vital role in cryptocurrency adoption since they provide an access point for many individuals without KYC/AML requirements. This is not only crucial for individuals that wish to maintain privacy, but also many financially excluded individuals that do not have bank accounts and/or identification documents required to verify information. ATMs naturally provide an amazing solution for remitters that get paid in cash and want to inexpensively send money back home to their loved ones through cryptocurrency, but cannot access online exchanges.
The Bank of America patent could play a pivotal role solely due to patent laws. Cryptocurrencies are relatively robust against patents since they exist online and cannot feasibly be contained due to decentralization, however, ATMs are more vulnerable due their physical and centralized nature. Nevertheless, the current crypto ATM ecosystem is providing many ways for consumers to use cryptocurrency.
Dash committed to diverse usability
[tweet https://twitter.com/Dashpay/status/1069760370238197761 align=’left’] The importance of allowing consumers to easily acquire and spend Dash is not only seen through the many ATM integrations and partnerships, but also through exchange and merchant integrations. While exchanges pose a barrier to entry for many individuals that cannot or do not want to conduct KYC/AML requirements, simply having many exchange choices increases the probability that consumers will find an exchange that works for them. Having over 4,600 merchants accepting Dash around the world makes it easier for consumer to spend their Dash and not having to worry about exchanging into fiat. The merchant count expands even further when gift cards are considered, including the ability to get 10% off when purchasing with Dash on Bitrefill.
Dash is rapidly increasing its touchpoints for consumer purchases and usability, which stands to increase the likelihood of more consumer adoption.
*Update: A previous version of this article mentioned that Vault Logic has the ability to exchange cryptocurrencies, which is not true.