Úno 17

Achievement Unlocked: Bitcoin Surpasses 1,000 ATMs Worldwide

· February 17, 2017 · 9:00 am

The number of Bitcoin ATM’s has surpassed 1,000th, a milestone in the history of Bitcoin that marks the continued growth of its infrastructure across the globe.


Bitcoin Hits 1,000 BTM’s

Today, CoinATMRadar celebrates the submission of the 1,000th Bitcoin ATM on their website. A significant moment for the website that tracks the presence of these machines worldwide, but even more so for the Bitcoin community in general.

ey-switzerland-bitcoin-atm-1

The current number of Bitcoin ATM’s currently stands at 1,002, according to CoinATMRadar.

Now, Bitcoin can be bough (and sold with two-way machines) at these physical locations without a bank account in 55 countries. CoinATMRadar provides users with information on where to find these ATMs, explains how they can be used for remittances, how to set up their own ATM business along with a profit potential calculator.

chart

Bitcoin ‘automated teller machines,’ sometimes called BTMs, play a vital role in Bitcoin’s global infrastructure. They provide a brick-and-mortar local to acquire Bitcoin extending the cryptocurrency’s reach.

They also provide convenience for users by saving time without the need to wait for bank transfers to clear. Also with the increasingly sophisticated methods being used in skimming operations, the Bitcoin counterparts provide a higher degree of security since no magnetic-strip cards are involved.

This milestone marks yet another success for the adoption of Bitcoin, which is beginning to gain traction in places where it previously had none. Demand for Bitcoin ATMs is growing in places like Texas, which has recently received eleven new BTMs.

4 Years of Continued Growth

The first BTM was placed in the Waves coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Canada by Robocoin on October 29, 2013. Since then, Bitcoin ATMs have increased in popularity, demand and features.

Today, these provide the invaluable service of readily available currency conversion between fiat and crypto, including altcoins like Ether, Dash and others.

While all Bitcoin ATMs allow users to interact with cryptocurrencies without a bank account, the majority of these are still one-way. According to CoinATMRadar, only about 36% of all bitcoin machines are two-way.

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Additionally, the vast majority of Bitcoin ATM’s are located in either North America or Europe.

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Alternatives to BTMs

Although the service provided by Bitcoin ATM operators is highly valuable, certain apps are starting to provide highly functional and simple methods of exchanging fiat and cryptocurrencies without relying on banking institutions or BTMs.

Among these are Spare and Abra, which allow users to buy or sell Bitcoin through registered merchant locations. These merchants get to empty their bulky cash registers while also driving people to their store without the need to host or buy a physical machine. 

As the world moves into a cashless society through the introduction of demonetization policies, it is possible that both these apps and Bitcoin ATMs will become obsolete. However, BTM operators seem to understand this and welcome the change.

Michael Dupree EasyBit

In a previous interview with Bitcoinist, Michael Dupree, founder and CEO of EasyBit said:

Nothing last forever and we are well aware that the market is dynamic and continuously evolving, so if the society turns to a cashless structure we, as all ATM companies, will have to adapt to that change providing new types of services. What we are sure about is that it is a thrilling opportunity to live in this moment of big social, political and economic changes and we want to be here for the long term.

Will this growth in Bitcoin ATM’s continue far into the future? Share your thoughts below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CoinATMRadar, EY.com

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Led 11

Who Needs ATMs? This iOS App Cashes Out Your Bits at Retail Stores

· January 11, 2017 · 3:00 am

Spare app has added Bitcoin payment support, allowing users to cash out in national currencies in select U.S. regions using any iOS device.


Spare: Cash Out Bits at Your Local Store

Spare, an alternative finance app that allows users to withdrawal cash on-the-go through various merchant locations, now supports Bitcoin.

screen696x696

Using the Spare app, users can now cash out their bitcoin at certain local stores. The services is currently available in certain parts of the U.S, including New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.

While there are currently a few alternatives to cash out bitcoins such as exchanges and Bitcoin ‘ATMs’, Spare bypasses these legacy methods using a secure QR code that is shown to a pre-designated merchant, who will then give you cash in exchange once approved.

dontra_hughes-e0ab1a4e

Spare founder and CEO D’ontra Hughes told Bitcoinist,

SPARE is mainly solving the issue of liquidity with your own bitcoin balance. So, when you don’t have a bitcoin ATM nearby – you would use our merchant network. The merchant does not have to accept bitcoin, as the technology converts and issues a market value that can be redeemed in cash.

The Santa Monica-based service also claims to benefit small businesses by “increasing foot traffic” and reducing the liability of having extra cash on hand while reducing the operating and security costs of housing a Bitcoin ATM.

“I get people asking if I have an ATM all the time. Now I can finally help them with SPARE and do it all from my iPad,” reads one review from a merchant called Rose Market. U.S. residents can download the app right now to see how many participating merchants are nearby.

Bitcoin ATMs: Few and Far Between

The Bitcoin infrastructure has growing immensely throughout the years, with a growing number of merchants and services accepting Bitcoin, alongside online exchanges enabling users to convert into almost any currency.

Bitcoin ATMs have also evolved and grown in popularity since the first one was placed in Canada in 2013. There are currently 945 ATMs throughout 55 countries according to Coin ATM Radar with the highest density in North America and Europe. Additionally, not all machines are “two-way,” i.e. you can only buy bitcoins but not receive cash for your bitcoin deposit.

bitcoinist_atm_map_usaDespite the growing numbers however, their availability is still just a drop in the ocean when compared to regular ATM networks and legacy banking infrastructure. Even if there is one in your hometown, they can be hard to find and more often than not, you’ll have to travel to reach it.

Bitcoinist_ebtm withdrawal

“No more you have to waste time searching for Bitcoin ATMs, as everything can be done directly from your iOS device,” adds Hughes.

The Underbanked & Unbanked

Bitcoin enables peoples to transact directly without involvement of governments and middlemen with limited infrastructure — only an internet connection is needed.

Thus, it can also help the unbanked and underbanked population who do not have access to financial services. Currently, there are an estimated 2-3 billion people in the planet with little or no access to financial services. Moreover, more than half of adults in the poorest 40% of households in developing countries lack a bank account.

remittance bitcoinist

But while Bitcoin can be used to transfer money internationally for much lower fees than traditional payment methods, converting them into cash can be a problem. This is commonly known as the “last mile” problem in remittances.

Spare’s approach of ‘crowdsourcing’ merchants to replace ATMs could prove to be a helpful tool in getting cash into peoples’ hands from their received bitcoins.

Meanwhile, the company has also announced it will be extending its services internationally to Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and Nicaragua. Therefore, such a solution has the potential to close the loop, and deliver on the promise of much cheaper blockchain-based remittances compared to legacy services like Western Union.

Can merchants be a better solution for cashing out than Bitcoin ATMs? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinatmradar, Spare

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Čvc 09

Blockchain Innovation Announces the Release of the Simple, Fast, and Secure BitTeller ATM

Source: bitcoin

Blockchain Innovation Announces the Release of the Simple, Fast, and Secure BitTeller ATM

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Bitcoinist is not responsible for this firm’s products and/or services. 

The World’s Most Affordable Bitcoin ATM

Austin, Texas (July 7) – Blockchain Innovation, announced today the official release of their highly anticipated Bitcoin ATM, the BitTeller. With the growing popularity of cryptocurrency; developing and producing the BitTeller was a no brainier for blockchain Innovation. The BitTeller is a small but powerful Crypto­ATM system
designed to provide a safe and simple way to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The BitTeller is portable and easy to move to different locations, but also provides multiple methods for securing it permanently.

At a time when consumers and business owners are reluctant to remove the banking institution from the process, the BitTeller ATM is being released to the cryptocurrency industry.

How does the BitTeller work?​ The ATM owner loads the BitTeller’s wallet to a desired amount. They can then put the BitTeller in their place of business, home, or meeting hall. It is then ready for friends, customers, or anyone to purchase coins with cash. At the end of the day, the owners can remove the bills and reload the system as needed. A notification system is also available to alert the owner via email for issues such as:
low balance, system errors, and daily status reports BitTeller updates its’ data every two minutes from multiple exchanges to make sure pricing remains accurate. BitTeller also allows ATM owners to customize their pricing by adjusting how much they earn with each purchase.

“After months of development, prototypes, and testing, we are proud to introduce the BitTeller ATM to the cryptocurrency industry” said Blockchain Innovation CEO, Jonah Dorman. “We strived to design an ATM that is affordable to even the smallest businesses or individual. I believe we have achieved that, and delivered a system that both users and owners will find simple to use, and most importantly, safe.”

About Blockchain Innovation: ​Blockchain Innovation is a leader in large mining operations, coin development, hardware sales and more for Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other alt­coins. In business since 2015, Blockchain Innovation comprises of individuals with many years of experience in all kinds of development roles across multiple industries. To visit and learn more please visit  or contact Jonah Dorman at: jonah@bci.io

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Kvě 04

Coinsource Expands Reach, 7 Bitcoin ATMs Launching in Los Angeles

Source: bitcoin

Coinsource Expands Reach, 7 Bitcoin ATMs Launching in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, CA – May 3, 2016 – Coinsource, the National Bitcoin ATM Network, today announced its single largest installation of bitcoin ATMs to date, launching seven new machines across the Los Angeles area and two more bitcoin ATMs in Las Vegas. Coinsouce is now the largest bitcoin ATM provider on the West Coast with 16 machines in San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and San Diego.

Disclaimer: This is a press release. Bitcoinist is not responsible for this firm’s products and/or services.

Coinsource Expands

Four bitcoin ATMs have been installed in LA proper, with one each in Lynwood, Long Beach and Torrance. Coinsource maintains the lowest transaction fee of any major bitcoin ATM network and now has a total of 30 machines in five states across the country.

Coinsource CEO and Co-Founder Sheffield Clark said his company is expanding quickly, in concert with the growing demand for digital currency, with bitcoin now trading above $450, up from $220 one year ago.

“Our entrance into the Los Angeles area is the most important yet for both the Coinsource brand and for bitcoin enthusiasts in Southern California. The roll out of seven new machines in one go was a significant logistical achievement, but we are proud to bring so many more options for both novices and veterans of bitcoin. With more and more use-cases for bitcoin every day, we foresee a future where digital currency is used as commonly as cash or credit cards,” said Clark.

The specific locations of the machines (details below) were selected based on their high vehicle and foot traffic, parking convenience, ease of access and long operating hours of the stores in which they are located.

“The Los Angeles community finally has convenient access to Coinsource’s secure, reliable and fully compliant bitcoin ATMs. We will continue to deliver on our promise to provide Americans everywhere with the opportunity to access bitcoin.”

“We’re also excited to expand our reach in Las Vegas to four machines, with two brand new locations East and West of the Strip, covering North Las Vegas as well. When you look at our locations on a map of the West Coast and across the United States, the ink spots are really starting to grow. It’s a very exciting time for us,” Clark added.

Manufactured by industry leader GenesisCoin, all Coinsource bitcoin ATMs are open late and offer the industry’s lowest fees. Rates start at 8% and reduce with higher volume purchases.

The newest, easy-to use Coinsource bitcoin ATMs join a network of active machines distributed across the United States, from San Francisco to New York City.

For more information, visit www.coinsource.net.

LOS ANGELES BITCOIN ATM LOCATIONS

NEW! Los Angeles

LOCATION: Dale’s Liquor, 14915 Vanowen St, Los Angeles CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

NEW! Los Angeles

LOCATION: Norwood Market, 5070 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

NEW! Los Angeles

LOCATION: Sweet Apple Deli & Grocery, 4707 S Broadway, Los Angeles CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

NEW! Los Angeles

LOCATION: Hope’s Liquor & Market, 2104 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

NEW! Lynbrook

LOCATION: Salem Liquor, 12720 Atlantic Ave, Lynwood CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

NEW! Long Beach

LOCATION: Eddies Liquor Junior Market, 734 W. Willow St, Long Beach CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

NEW! Torrance

LOCATION: Royal Liquor, 3114 Pacific Coast Highway, Torrance CA

HOURS OF OPERATION: 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM Midnight, 7 Days per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy

LAS VEGAS BITCOIN ATM LOCATIONS

NEW! WEST LAS VEGAS

LOCATION: 76 Gas Station, 4708 W Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89102

HOURS OF OPERATION: 24 Hours Per Day, 7 Days Per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy, 5% Sell

NEW! EAST LAS VEGAS

LOCATION: 76 Gas Station, 3965 E Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89104

HOURS OF OPERATION: 24 Hours Per Day, 7 Days Per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 1-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy, 5% Sell

CITY CENTER LAS VEGAS 

LOCATION: Ketchup Premium Burger Bar and the Miracle Mile Shops 3663 S Las Vegas Blvd. #410, Las Vegas NV 89109

HOURS OF OPERATION: 10:00 AM to 2:00 AM, 7 Days Per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 2-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy, 5% Sell

SOUTH LAS VEGAS

LOCATION: Country Club Auto Spa, 9260 S Eastern Ave., Las Vegas, NV 89123

HOURS OF OPERATION: 24 Hours Per Day, 7 Days Per Week

ATM TYPE: GenesisCoin 2-Way Bitcoin ATM

FEES: 8% Buy, 5% Sell

###

Coinsource CEO and Co-Founder Sheffield Clark is available for interview.


Images courtesy of Coinsource.

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Úno 29

Bitcoinist Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Classic Gaining Steam

Source: bitcoin

news

This past week saw a lot of hot news stories coming from the Bitcoin community and the organizations powering the growth of the ecosystem. Bitcoin Classic appeared in the news a few times throughout the week, reminding us that the block size debate is far from over. In terms of price, not much happened at the macro level. Hardly any change took place between the open and close of the week, with the price falling less than one percent in total. However, the day-to-day activity certainly gave traders a lot to be excited about, with a lot of big declines and welcome gains.

Also read: Tendermint Thinks it Will Be Better Than Bitcoin 

Daily Bitcoin Price Action

  • February 22: $437.07
  • February 23: $437.96
  • February 24: $419
  • February 25: $419.92
  • February 26: $420.32
  • February 27: $431.46
  • February 28 Open: $424.81
  • February 28 Close: $436.65

Total Change: -0.10%

Weekly News Re-Hash: Bitcoin Core Gains Momentum

Our week began on Monday, February 22, 2015 with the bitcoin price at $437.07, holding on to the gains made in the previous week. Monday saw fairly calm market activity, the price hovering in the mid-to-high $430s. Bitcoin peaked at $440 in the evening, but quickly returned to that $430s range that characterized the day’s activity.

In the news, we reported on Multipool.us launching a Bitcoin Classic mining pool. Multipool.us dedicated on petahash of mining power to the Classic pool, which represents a large amount of mining support for Bitcoin Core’s newest competitor.

Tuesday started at $437.96, but would quickly fall dramatically. At 3 AM, the markets took a dive, and the bitcoin price fell from $435 at the top of the hour to $422 at the close, with an hourly low of $416. The price stayed in this lower range for the rest of the day, floating between the high $410s and the mid $420s.

Meanwhile, on Bitcoinist, we reported about the new release of Bitcoin Core version 0.12.0 and its new improvements. Additionally, we reported on a development from the Free Ross campaign. FreeRoss.org released a rare home video of Ross Ulbricht. The Free Ross campaign is ran by Ulbricht’s mother, who is fighting to help her son get an appeal for what they believe was an unfair sentencing for his involvement with Silk Road.

The 24th started out on a negative note, the price plunging from $419 to the low $410s in the opening hour of the day. Throughout the rest of the day, though, the markets staged a modest recovery from this dive, rising back into the mid $420s. Towards the end of the day, the price took a small dip, falling to the low $420s to close out the day.

More Bitcoin Classic news came to light on Wednesday the 24th. We reported that five Bitcoin ATM operators switched to Classic. Sumbits, Tobitcoin, Herocoin, Coinucopia and Bitlove switched to the Bitcoin Core competitor. This change affected 29 Bitcoin ATMs in North America.

Bitcoin mining pool F2Pool threatened to withdraw consensus support from the February 21 roundtable due to allegations regarding Adam Back’s self-designation as an “individual” rather than the CEO of BlockStream when announcing his support for consensus.

February 25 opened with the price at $419.22, almost no change over the start of the previous day. The markets stayed quiet during the 25th, staying well within the low $420s range.

In the news, we reported on newly-surfaced court documents suggesting that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and Carnegie Mellon University colluded to attack the TOR network. In November 2015, the Tor Project accused the FBI of paying $1 million USD to the university in exchange for its help in revealing users on the TOR network. These court documents at least partially confirmed these claims, reporting that the FBI did in fact use the university’s academic resources to aid in the takedown of the Silk Road 2.0 marketplace.

E-Coin announced a major rebranding, changing its name to Wirex and adding new services to its platform. These services, including a new mobile app and two-way bitcoin debit cards, are aimed at “bridging the gap between blockchain technology and traditional finance.”

Friday the 26th kicked off with the bitcoin price at $420.32, a little more than a dollar above the opening price on Thursday. The first half of the day saw extremely flat trading activity, with the price refusing to budge above or below $424. However, the price jumped upwards heading into the evening hours, reaching a peak of $435 at 7 PM. This explosion in buying leveled out, as the day came to a close, bringing the price down to the low $430s.

At Bitcoinist, we posted a new job listing. We are looking for a sales manager to lead the charge on securing ad deals for our website to help build revenue. We are looking for someone with experience in online sales who can help build one of the most trusted websites in the Bitcoin news industry.

Also on the 26th, popular wallet-exchange hybrid Coinbase published a blog post telling the public that it is “not a wallet.” Responding to criticism regarding the company’s privacy policies and exchange-hosted wallets in general, Coinbase explained that it is not meant to be a place to store large amounts of bitcoins. Instead, the company’s goal is to bridge the gap between the legacy financial system and the bitcoin economy, and then later evolving into a “retail exchange” as Bitcoin becomes more prominent in the mainstream.

February 27 started out at $431.46, a significant gain over the start of the previous day. Coming off the high of Friday’s rally, the markets stayed very calm for most of the day, with very little fluctuation in the bitcoin price. The fell into the mid $420s at 7 PM, though, where it would stay for the remainder of the night.

Sunday, February 28 began with the bitcoin price at $424.81, remaining in the mid $420s range following the late-day fall on Saturday. After minimal activity during the early morning hours, the markets picked up at 9 AM and the price began moving upwards. Bitcoin returned to the mid $430s and then plateaued at midday, staying in that range until the evening hours. The price began moving upwards again, climbing to $437. The day closed at $436.65, making for a very small decline of 0.10% for the entire week.

  What do you think will happen in the Bitcoin world in the coming week? Let us know in the comments below!

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Úno 24

Five Bitcoin ATM Operators Switched Over To Bitcoin Classic

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Bitcoin Ecosystem

While the war between Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin Classic enthusiasts is far from over, the entire digital currency landscape is slowly starting to change. Most people assumed bitcoin ATMs would not take sides in this debate, but it looks like a mind shift is taking place in this segment as well. A total of five Bitcoin ATM operators in North America has switched from Bitcoin Core to Bitcoin Classic, a decision affecting a total of 29 machines.

Also read: LimoPlay Launches World’s first 3D Slot Game

Operating A Bitcoin ATM During The Block Size Debate

When thinking of a Bitcoin ATM, hardly anyone gives the concept of which wallet software solution they are running a second thought. Up until a year or so ago, Bitcoin Core would have been the clear answer to that solution. But ever since the debate about upping the block size has taken place, that certainty is no longer guaranteed.

In the United States, five different Bitcoin ATM operators have made the switch from Bitcoin Core to Bitcoin Classic, as they support the latter solution’s approach to solving the block size problem. This change affects a total of 29 Bitcoin ATMs in North America, operated by Sumbits, Tobitcoin, Herocoin, Coinucopia, and Bitlove. Twenty-nine devices represent quite a significant percentage of the total number of machines in that region.

The Bitcoin block size affects any business operating in the digital currency ecosystem, and ATM operators are no exception to that rule. In fact, some Bitcoin ATM operators see this block size debate as something more than just a philosophical discussion. Increasing the block size is not something people disagree on, but the way it should be done has further ramifications for Bitcoin network.

A larger block size will, on paper, at last, give Bitcoin a better chance of becoming a mainstream payment network used by consumers all over the world. While this change from Bitcoin Core to Bitcoin Classic will not make any notable difference to users of these devices, every Bitcoin ATM runs as a Bitcoin node as well. This means Bitcoin Classic has another 29 nodes to add to its repertoire.

It is rather intriguing to see Bitcoin ATM operators taking sides in this debate as well, although that is not a negative thing by any means. A lot of people tend to forget Bitcoin ATMs act as network nodes as well, and how the different software solutions might suit their needs better than others.

But What If Bitcoin Classic Fails?

This is one of the main questions a lot of Bitcoiners seem to be asking themselves as of late. The growing support for Bitcoin Classic can not be denied by any means, but the solution is still far away from reaching their majority consensus goal. Yesterday’s release of Bitcoin Core 0.12.0 may shake things up once again in the coming days and weeks.

Some people on Reddit were even claiming how Bitcoin ATMs should start supporting various altcoins as well, avoiding the Bitcoin scalability issue altogether. That proposal was shot down rather quickly, as there is no major demand for 99% of altcoins in existence. There is no need to jump to strange conclusions just yet.

What are your thoughts on this decision by these five Bitcoin ATM operators? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reddit

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, CoinFinance

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Úno 09

Bitcoin ATMs Remain Safe From New Metel Bank Malware




Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Bank ATM

Despite there being plenty of things going wrong in the financial sector, one of the biggest threats is not coming from the banks or other financial players themselves. Instead, a new breed of bank malware is making the rounds, spread by a Russian hacking group. Especially ATMs are the target of choice, and the implications could be very severe if no solution is found to counter this threat.

Also read: Tendermint to Unveil UI, Demo First Blockchain Apps

Bank Malware Remains A Big Threat

Throughout 2015, ransomware and malware have been claiming many victims around the world. But in the end, banks themselves remain the prime target for hackers, or to be more precise their ATM devices. A new type of malware has been identified, which could be a major threat to ATMs all over the world.

Based on the information provided by Kaspersky Labs, Metel malware was discovered during the summer of 2015. This situation came to light as a Russian bank reported millions of rubles in losses in one night. Apparently, the institution had a log of strange financial transactions originating from one of their ATMs.

What makes this story even stranger is how an internal investigation showed how cards belonging to customers of this particular Russian bank were withdrawing funds from other bank’s ATMs. Huge amounts of money were cashed out, even though the associated bank accounts of the card holders remained unaffected. Needless to say, this made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

It is not the first time Metel makes a name for itself in the world of traditional finance. This collective of Russian hackers is deliberately infected corporate bank networks via email, in an attempt to gain access to other internal systems. As a result, Metel managed to gain access to the bank’s ATM withdrawal system, which let them roll back the entire history of cashing out the device’s balance.

Further research by Kaspersky showed how the malware was present in over 30 financial institutions, although all of the networks have been cleaned up in the meantime. At the same time, another collective of Russian hackers has been identified, using similar techniques to infect banks with malware.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Carbanak malware has been revamped and is making the rounds again as well. Rather than targeting banks, this malware is also trying to find vulnerabilities in accounting and budgeting departments of other companies. The financial world as we know it is facing a lot of threats all over the world, including Bitcoin and digital currency.

Bitcoin ATMs Remain Safe From Malware

Unlike traditional bank ATMs, malware has not been spreading throughout Bitcoin ATMs around the world. Not only does this bring more legitimacy to the popular digital currency, but it also goes to show that financial institutions could learn a few things from the Bitcoin ecosystem, other than how to use blockchain technology to their advantage.

Furthermore, the popular digital currency is gaining more attention from all over the world, while its market value is holding steady. With fiat currencies dropping in value on a regular basis and proving to be very volatile, Bitcoin is proving to be a far more stable investment compared to traditional means.

What are your thoughts on this new type of bank malware? Are Bitcoin ATMs vulnerable as well? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Kaspersky Blog

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Krebsonsecurity

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Bitcoin ATMs Remain Safe From New Metel Bank Malware




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Led 08

No Bitcoin Teller Machines Affected By Recently Arrested ATM Malware Crime Group

Source: bitcoin

No Bitcoin Teller Machines Affected By Recently Arrested ATM Malware Crime Group

ATM Malware attacks have been a thorn in the side of both consumers and government officials in Europe over the past few months. By infecting bank ATMs with malware, user’s card information can be obtained without them realizing it. As a result, plenty of user funds is at risk, and Europol started a major investigation. Late last night, the news broke several arrests were made, and how the international criminal group responsible for this malware attack has been dismantled.

Also read: Cybersecurity Regulators Feel Companies Need To Step Up To Protect Consumer Privacy

ATM Malware Crime Group Arrested

Thanks to a collaboration between Europol, the Romanian National Police, and the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crimes and Terrorism,  a major crime group responsible for bank ATM malware infections has been dismantled. Even though it was the first malware attack of this kind on European soil, it turned out to be a well-organized crime ring. A total of eight arrests were made in Romania and Moldova.

ATM malware attacks are quite a nasty deal, as hackers use a piece of code to infect a bank teller machine’s software. For the end user, all of the operations will be available, and nothing will look out of the ordinary. However, the malware is capable of emptying the entire ATN’s cash reserve, as the pin pad can be used for command manipulation.

Tyupkin ATM malware, as this nasty piece of code is used allowed the crime group to manipulate bank ATMs all over Europe, as well as empty several cash cassettes. Government officials refer to this term as “jackpotting”, by which assailants physically launch a Trojan Horse through an executable file. As a result, they can then deliberately cause major losses to the European ATM industry.

It took a joint effort by police forces throughout all of Europe, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, and Eurojust to bring these attacks to a halt. It is not the first time these parties are confronted with this type of ATM malware attack, although there hadn’t been any incident report sin Europe up until a few months ago.

Europol’s Deputy Director Operations Wil Van Gemert stated:

“Over the last few years we have seen a major increase in ATM attacks using malicious software. The sophisticated cybercrime aspect of these cases illustrates how offenders are constantly identifying new ways to evolve their methodologies to commit crimes. To match these new technologically savvy criminals, it is essential, as it was done in this case, that law enforcement agencies cooperate with their counterparts via Europol to share information and collaborate on transnational investigations”.

Bitcoin Remains Unaffected By ATM Malware

Even though this type of malware deliberately targets ATMs, the software seems to be only compatible with bank teller machines. Bitcoin ATMs, of which there are now over 500 around the world, have not been affected by this malware attack. This can be partially attributed to a different type of security used, combined with custom-tailored solutions, rather than using a generic software.

Furthermore, Bitcoin ATMs present a less likely target for hackers, as the machines provide certain limitations in terms of how much funds they can process before the owner needs to empty the cash cassette. It is simply not worth the effort to attack a Bitcoin ATM with malware, whereas bank teller machines can hold up to several tens of thousands of Euros in cash.

What are your thoughts on the shutdown of this ATM malware crime group? Will we see these types of attacks against Bitcoin ATMs too? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Europol

Images courtesy of Europol, Shutterstock

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No Bitcoin Teller Machines Affected By Recently Arrested ATM Malware Crime Group

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