After four years, Japan brings back its first crypto ATM


Crypto ATMs – or BTMs by local terminology – are back in Japan after a long four-year hiatus.

Local crypto exchange company Gaia Co., Ltd announced on Aug. 2 that it will soon be rolling out BTMs that support Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Litecoin (LTC).

Despite Bitcoin ATMs making their debut in Tokyo as early as 2014, the country has not seen any active ATMs for digital assets since the crypto winter of 2018, which saw the local exchange Coincheck hacked for $530 million, putting the local industry on the run. kneeled and interest deteriorated. in crypto ATMs.

Initially, the BTMs will be installed at locations in Tokyo and Osaka, but the company has outlined plans to deploy 50 BTMs across the country within the next 12 months. The company said it hopes to expand its installed base to 130 BTMs within the next three years.

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The BTMs allow users to withdraw up to $747 (100,000 yen) per transaction, with a maximum withdrawal limit of $2,243 (300,000 yen) per day. The restricted withdrawals are part of anti-money laundering measures.

BTM: Gaia Co., Ltd

According to an Aug. 3 report from local media outlet Mainichi Shimbun, Gaia’s move will mark the first time a locally registered crypto firm has installed cryptocurrency ATMs in Japan.

In order to withdraw funds from the BTMs, users must register with the company to obtain a special card that gives them access to do so. Once approved, users can send crypto assets to the BTM via a smartphone and then withdraw the cash amount in yen.

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The BTMs will help speed up the current withdrawal process in the country, which often takes a few days to transfer money from an exchange to a local bank account, the Japanese-language outlet noted.

Crypto Interest Resurfaces?

The Coincheck hack, along with the $500 million hack on the Mt.Gox crypto exchange in 2014, ultimately resulted in the government taking a hands-off approach by assigning oversight to the self-regulatory body, Japan. Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).

However, it seems that the government has shown renewed interest in helping the market thrive this year.

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As previously reported in July, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) issued “severe warnings” to the JVCEA to accelerate the rollout of AML regulations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has also called on the entity to accelerate the lengthy screening process for new digital asset listing applications from local exchanges.

Last month, TBEN reported that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) opened its groundbreaking Web3 policy office in the minister’s secretariat. The newly created entity will work to develop an innovative business environment for Web3 companies, along with the rollout of regulations to support the industry.