With the help of Derek Robertson
It was Google Maps that piqued my interest in Bitcoin ATMs.
In one of my usual crypto and California conversations where I talk about the tech politics of Sacramento, someone told me about cryptocurrency kiosks where you can buy bitcoin with cash and often in complete anonymity. You didn’t need a bank account and you didn’t need to create a profile on an online exchange. You can just go to the gas station and buy cryptocurrency.
It seemed like an odd way to buy bitcoin, so I turned to Google to see where I could find such machines. I started in Los Angeles, where I lived almost ten years ago. My curiosity was heightened when I saw that the red pins indicating the location of the stalls seemed to be clustered in the poor areas of the south center. However, I thought that was not all: in Los Angeles, you can’t always judge a street by its neighborhood.
But when I clicked on the flags to zoom in on the streets, most of them showed pictures of vape shops, check cashers, and gas stations in shabby malls with cracked plaster.
Who bought bitcoin in these places? And why?
Turns out I wasn’t the only person confused and intrigued by these machines, known as BTM (B stands for bitcoin).
In conversations with companies that operate BTM machines, with regulators and consumer advocates, BTM has become a symbol of a large and passionate debate about the integrity of the cryptocurrency itself.
- For industry players and bitcoin fans, BTMs represent the “democratization” of cryptocurrency finance. It would be a pity to regulate them too aggressively, because it could deprive people of the opportunity to invest in the future of money and make the cryptocurrency markets a model of Wall Street elitism.
- For consumer advocates, they are predators, selling unstable digital currencies to people who don’t have the extra money or time to figure out if they could lose their shirts buying bitcoin. The spread of BTM in poor areas does not increase their confidence – instead, the operators look like they are following the lender’s payday plan.
- For regulators, they are a subtle political issue and often a headache for law enforcement. Officials do not like to cancel a business model based on bad actors, especially when they are still trying to catch up with the cryptocurrency industry. But BTMs have already allowed criminals and sex and drug dealers to cover up cash transactions at a time when law enforcement already has to play kill the mole with big money laundering and other fraudulent schemes. In fact, the US Department of Justice and state attorneys general had to shut down the inconspicuous BTM networks that went directly to criminals.
Right now BTM is mostly an American phenomenon though bitcoin loving president of salvador big supporter. Earlier this year, two countries completely shut down their cars – Singapore and the UK.
Now, the recent crash of Bitcoin and the turmoil in the markets could redraw the front lines in cryptopolitics and force regulators to take tougher action.
Read completely history here.
Wall Street could avoided the worst the collapse of the crypto market. But what about public companies, which were the most optimistic?
Let’s take Tesla led by Mr. “To the moonElon Musk himself, who took over $650 million in losses only on bitcoins. But it’s not even close to being the biggest blow to the publicly traded company: data analytics company MicroStrategy lost almost $1.5 billion due to the depreciation of bitcoin, including a loan worth more than $200 million backed by bitcoin, which is now is under threat. margin requirement, according to industry news site Blockworks. (The company continues buy dip.)
There is a reason why most companies with large bitcoin positions are directly involved in the crypto industry: belief in the enduring value of crypto as an asset necessarily entails faith and self-interest in actually adopting it. Hence, the main followers from outside the industry are tech gadflies like Musk and “Web5” provider Jack Dorsey, whose Block (formerly Square) also lost a solid piece of change in the middle of a crash. – Derek Robertson
“Web3 games” have received a lot of negative press lately, especially in a series of hacks that have left players in “play to earn” games. like Axi Infiniti deprived of the cryptocurrency they earned in the course of the game.
Because of this, the timing for announcing a near-impossible rise even under the best of circumstances is somewhat awkward: a new, independently manufactured and developed home video game console. Meet “Polium One”, which its creators describe it as “The world’s first multi-network game console.”
From a purely business standpoint, it makes sense that entrepreneurs like (somewhat cryptic, apparently four people) the group behind Polium would like to combine Web3 with games, an industry that has been raking in approximately $200 billion worldwide in 2021, and the number is only growing). Video games like Roblox and Minecraft have already served as proof of concept for the metaverse and more ambitious projects. like Star Atlas promised to combine NFT and blockchain technology with mainstream video games, whether users want them or not.
But history is littered with failed attempts by outsiders to infiltrate the capital-intensive gaming industry, starting with Nokia N-Gage to the cautionary tale of Kickstarter about Ouya. As for Polium One, everything is not so rosy here: the company has already published defensive thread on twitter responding to criticism from the tantalizing and flippant (its eerie resemblance of the logo to the Nintendo Gamecube) to the blatantly obvious (lack of information that real games people might want to play on such a console.) – Derek Robertson