Bitcoin ATM vs Crypto Wallet

There are many ways to turn your crypto into cash. One of them is by using bitcoin ATMs. These machines allow you to buy or sell BTC using a debit card or cash. Crypto ATMs and their respective service providers operate in nearly every country. But why should you use a Bitcoin ATM?

PROS:

It’s fun
Imagine yourself being a pioneer using new groundbreaking technology. Is there any crypto enthusiast who would resist posting an Instagram picture when using Bitcoin ATM?

Relatively easy to use
All of us are accustomed to using traditional ATMs in one form or another. Bitcoin ATMs are not that much different from traditional cash deposit and withdrawal machines across the globe. Crypto ATMs save time and provide users with a simple and intuitive way to cash out their digital currencies.

Transaction speed
QR codes can be created via smartphone applications (thanks to bitcoin ATM providers). These QR codes are then used to identify you, obtain your crypto balance and offer the available cash out options for you. The whole process usually takes one minute or less to complete, which is about the same amount of time it would take to use a traditional ATM. The difference here, however, is that you won’t find a massive queue in front of the ATM since crypto is still rarely used.

CONS:

High Fees
Current estimates show that bitcoin ATMs charge around 9% per transaction on average. Some companies charge up to 30% per transaction. Cryptocurrency ATMs typically take a percentage of transaction amount rather than a flat fee no matter what bitcoin cash-out operator you choose.

Logistical Availability
Although there are around 5000 of Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the globe this number isn’t as high as one might think. You can’t find one in every city or every street, and they are often located too far from each other. However, Bitcoin ATMs keep growing so this problem might be eliminated in the nearest future.

According to coinatmradar absolute majority (3539 machines) are located in the US, followed by Canada, UK, Europe, Russia and Colombia.

American ATM network Athena Bitcoin is expanding aggressively in Latin America, particularly in Colombia. Venezuelans in Colombia are the biggest users of the ATMs, followed by freelancers working in tech or marketing who receive their payments in crypto. Venezuelans use the ATMs and crypto to cope with economic crisis after fleeing their country. The potential in Latin America is, therefore, huge as it has a high number of people who are unbanked or under-banked.

If you’re excited to try bitcoin ATMs go to coinatmradar.com to locate a bitcoin ATM nearest you. Don’t get surprised, sometimes you would find them in the most random places. The website also gives you a lot of details such as fees, limits, buy only, sells only, buy/sell and directions from your location to the Bitcoin ATM. Also, there’s a bunch of apps that serve the same purpose and helps to locate the nearest Bitcoin ATM.

Paper Wallet Risk
Although paper wallets are considered less vulnerable to hackers attack, they are still very risky since they can get lost, damaged or stolen. You should only use paper wallets as a secondary option if you don’t have a mobile device with you.

Poor Tech Support
Just like traditional ATMs, they face software malfunctions and cash insufficiency. The infrastructure set by bitcoin cash-out providers is often under developed. It may take weeks for tech support to show up and fix a broken ATM or to replenish the cash in its repository. In these cases, users are often left alone with the problem and have to refer to their crypto company to verify the transaction status.

To summarize, no doubt that using bitcoin ATM is exciting experience and any crypto enthusiast should try that at least ones.

Countries with the undeveloped economy, insufficient banking services and poor internet connection would indeed benefit from cash-to-crypto ATMs providing users with access to the crypto world.

But for economically developed countries where everyone has a bank card and 24/7 high-speed internet connection, it doesn’t make much sense to go for crypto ATMs.

Legal European crypto exchange services like Mercuryo provide safe and quick access to bitcoin transactions at any time using your bank card and smartphone. The fee compared to the one charged by ATMs is 3 times less: only 3,95% when you buy BTC and 2.95% when you sell. Coupled with professional tech support, it leaves behind any crypto ATMs in terms of convenience and profitability.

Should Crypto Wallet Fight a Card Fraud?

Not so many of us would think of bank card fraud when we use it as a means of payment to buy cryptocurrency. Usually, we think of crypto-related types of fraud first neglecting the other threats.

Meanwhile the total annual value of fraudulent transactions comes to €1.8 Billion, according to the latest European Central Bank report. Among these CNP (Card Not Present) fraud, which represents about 80% of the total volume of all fraudulent card transactions.

The reason is the apparent change in customer behaviour and the overall growth of online payments. It makes CNP fraud one of the primary sources of income for fraudsters who always look for the weakest link.

Therefore, fraud prevention and risk management measures within the financial organisations become increasingly complex, requiring more budget to fight fraud, process chargebacks and disputes. Card fraud comes in many different forms and is often achieved through identity theft.

We’ll take a closer look at 3 most popular types of fraud related to online payments.

CNP (Card Not Present) Fraud

This means that fraudster uses your card without being in physical possession of it, i.e. they know the number and the expiry date of your card.

CNP is mainly related to online fraud; it has become the most prominent type of card fraud in recent years. Many merchants in Europe require the card verification code (3 digits on the back of the card), making CNP fraud more difficult. However three digits don’t look enough to make much of a password. If criminals can obtain your card number, they can figure out that number too using a hacking technique that can guess CVV code in seconds. There are only 999 possible combinations for this code. Many fraudsters try to make purchase of the low amount until they figure out the right CVV right number. Do not neglect that attempts to charge the small payments in your bank notifications.

Luckily most of the banks have anti-fraud monitoring systems that notice the suspicious transactions before you and block the compromised card to prevent any further attempts. Anyway, it is a good idea to stay cautious and report any suspicious activities with your card to the bank.

Lost and Stolen Card Fraud

As the name suggests, this type is relevant for the lost and stolen card; when it is in possession of fraudsters. In this case, it is quite tricky to use the card at the stores through merchants POS terminals as they might require a PIN. However, it is relatively easy to use a found or stolen card for online purchases. You must block your card as soon as you realise they are lost or stolen.

Card ID Theft

Card ID theft occurs when the details of your card become known to a fraudster. This information is then used to enter your card account or open a new one. Your name will be used for this. This is one of the most sophisticated types of fraud and is hard to identify and to recover from because it can take time before you realise what happened.

Data breaches containing Personal Identifiable Information (PII) such as card numbers often result in your information being sold on the Internet. Your identity information, payment credentials, bank account credentials and answers to security questions are widely available on the darknet for purchase in bulk.

The basics of card fraud stay the same, but the fraudsters become more and more creative. That means fraud analysts need to be as agile and innovative as fraudsters. Fighting fraud can only be done with the right information, though. Merchants and payment services use the following information and fraud prevention/risk management tools to detect and prevent online card fraud:

  • Card Verification Code (CVV, CVN, CVC2, CID, etc.)
  • Address verification service (AVS)
  • Blacklists — including those provided by the International card schemes as well as internal lists
  • Fraud scoring models
  • Geo-location
  • Customer purchase history
  • Device fingerprinting
  • Email verification
  • Strong customer authentication (SCA) to be compliant with the PSD2
  • 3-D Secure (disliked because consumers often cancel payments when required to use 3D-Secure)

However, there is good news. We at Mercuryo are fighting CNP fraud and data breaches and continually improve our anti-fraud techniques. Our systems monitor all the data across the payments chain, cooperate with our acquirer partners, reducing steps during the purchase process and protecting consumer privacy.

Mercuryo team has created a unique cross channel anti-fraud system, which is easily scalable; we can add new analytics blocks if necessary. It is a fully automated system with 24/7 uptime.

Mercuryo is focusing on the whole cryptocurrency payment ecosystem rather than crypto exchange service alone. That is why it is essential to build a proper security infrastructure and the environment from day one.

This will allow us to avoid the pain many banks suffered when information security systems became vital. Banks invested million dollar budgets just to re-design the architecture and re-develop most of the internal systems to build in required security features.

So what we do is we develop the proper basement first (security-wise) and then build the entire ecosystem on top of that.

Stay safe and never worry about security breaches.

Getting BTC On Your Payday? It Is Now Official

At least for New Zeland who became the first country to support the companies that are paying employees in crypto. The Tax Office announced new rules that legalize salaries in cryptocurrencies. The payments should be fixed, regular and for services performed under an legal employment contract. Companies that pay the employees in cryptocurrency should be deducting taxes under New Zealand’s Pay As You Earn scheme. The employer will deduct them and sent to the tax department. The new ruling, however, excludes self-employed taxpayers.

So who will benefit from the new tax legislation should it spread further to other countries?

Naturally, the majority of bitcoin payments go to professionals who work for blockchain technology startups. Most of them are true crypto enthusiasts and operate digital currencies daily.

Numerous blockchain and crypto jobs websites such as Crypto Jobs List feature hundreds of new vacancies daily. Blockchain companies are mostly interested in specialists who fall into these five categories:

  • Developers (NodeJS, React, Redux, Golang, PHP)and Information Security
  • Marketing & Community
  • Tech support
  • Design & Copywriting
  • Sales and Business development

If you have any of the skills mentioned above you might be the next one getting a legit salary in Bitcoin.

Of course it is optional and no one would force you to accept salary payments in cryptocurrency. Every blockchain company usually offers payments in your local fiat currency as a primary option, but many employees would go for crypto regardless of volatility. Salary in cryptocurrency is versatile and enables many options. You can hold part of the crypto as long term investment, exchange to another cryptocurrency or fiat money whenever the rate profitable.

Salary payments in crypto are particularly handy for remote workers who live abroad. It allows instant cross-border payments without extra fees.

With services like Mercuryo, you will have no problem converting your BTC to USD, EUR, RUB as you cash out to the bank card (we support bank cards issued by many countries). Alternatively, you can use your Mercuryo card (coming soon) as a bitcoin salary card and pay for any of your daily purchases in crypto.

Stay updated and look forward to your next payday!

KYC/AML. Will Crypto World Stay The Same?

When it comes to the financial world, whether it’s crypto or fiat criminal activities such as theft, fraud and hacks are prevalent.

Crypto is a new and controversial investment vehicle, an entirely different way of processing payments, and, essentially, a way to get around traditional financial institutions that rule the world.

Over the past few years, the mass adoption of digital currencies grew exponentially triggering more and more concern from regulators and financial institutions. Up until 2019, crypto regulation was either non-existent or immature, and there was an apparent lack of consensus on how to protect crypto users.

It took a step forward during the G20 Summit, where representatives discussed the new course of legal action proposed by the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF). It sets out that its 30 members should impose the rules for cryptocurrency services. It requires them to monitor and report suspicious transactions and share data on cryptocurrency users with other platforms (i.e. exchange to exchange).

Fifteen countries, including G7 members, Australia, and Singapore pledged to cooperate in setting up a system for monitoring cryptocurrency transactions together with the FATF, a new report states.

FATF, the international money-laundering watchdog, would oversee the project. They aim to prevent the movement of funds for illicit purposes, such as money laundering and funding of terrorism, by collecting and sharing transaction data, as well as the personal information of cryptocurrency users.

In addition to that, FATF announced last month to have given its permission for Japan to lead the creation of an international cryptocurrency payments network similar to banking network SWIFT, also aimed to fight money laundering. Japan was the first country to introduce a legal framework for cryptocurrency exchanges in 2017. International cooperation may speed up the development of legal measures.

Some argue that such laws will do more harm than good. Compliance with FATF recommendations and the introduction of reinforced KYC/AML procedures will indeed increase compliance costs for crypto companies, and it takes time to implement.

Additionally, some of the users expressed their frustration as the recommendations came out. However, for a regular user with no bad intentions or criminal background, KYC shouldn’t be a problem. At Mercuryo, for instance, only a tiny percent of users fail pass KYC, the absolute majority of users pass it in no time.

Certain exchanges might try to evade the compliance through operating offshore or prohibiting U.S. investors from signing up, but the majority have no choice but to comply with regulatory demands or face the consequences.

As the world changes, it is your choice whether you change or stay behind.

Crypto Exchange vs Crypto Wallet

Do you remember the moment when you decided to try Bitcoin? It’s a big step into the unknown. Newcomers might get confused with a growing number of services offering a crypto exchange. Luckily now you can use the fully legit services to buy digital currencies such as crypto exchange (identical to stock exchange) or a crypto wallet. Remember these are not the same thing!

But let’s start with basics: if you’re going to operate cryptocurrencies, it is essential to understand where your Bitcoin is stored. To the common perception, Bitcoin is stored in a wallet (like cash). This is technically incorrect. We often get confused by the phrase “BTC in my wallet” which implies that coins are physically there.

As we rarely operate cash most money today exists merely as transaction history and balance info and Bitcoin is no exception. Transactional information about cryptocurrencies resides in their respective blockchains. The coins themselves are not discrete things that need storage. The information about your balance is stored within a particular block with other details like creation time, etc., which can’t be adjusted.

Bitcoin balances are maintained using public and private “keys”. These are the long sets of numbers and letters linked to each other through the mathematical encryption algorithm.

The public key, as the name suggests, is exposed to everyone and could be found through public blockchain explorer. It works similar to your bank card number; you may give it to anyone who wants to send you BTC. The private key is more like your bank card’s PIN code; it allows you to authorize transactions and should be kept safely. Thus, It is the “private key” itself that is stored in your Bitcoin wallet. You may choose a secure cold (offline) wallet like Ledger Nano, Trezor or even paper wallets. These are all personal wallets in which you own, hold, possess your keys. They are great for storage purposes.

But if you would like to trade or send/receive BTC frequently, you have no choice other than going online. So the question is, do you sign up and trade at the crypto exchange (centralized or decentralized) or choose a cryptowallet app?

Mercuryo wallet can be equally useful for newbies and experienced crypto users for a variety of reasons. We are developing a service meant to combine the mobility and flexibility of an app with a proper security level.

So what is the difference between Mercuryo wallet and crypto exchange?

Our comparative table will guide you through the key aspects of crypto exchange.

Getting started
Fees, rates
UX and support

All kinds of crypto users can benefit from the simplicity of Mercuryo service and lower fees. Of course, crypto professionals and those who enjoy the trading process itself will go to crypto exchange to get some adrenaline. But for everyday use Mercuryo wallet is perfect for fulfilling your crypto needs.

Also, Mercuryo is going to launch BTC card soon to bring crypto to your daily life and allow you to pay with BTC.

Stay tuned.

Shaping The Future of Money

Bitcoin and other digital currencies have faced a lot of scrutiny over the past few years. As of now, its legal status is considered differently in each country. Inevitably the overall tendency is drifting towards the acknowledgement of crypto and the development of appropriate regulation. Financial authorities can’t ignore something that big and rapidly growing; the crypto market cap is approaching $300 billion.

So far, crypto has become a powerful investment instrument, and we have learned to treat it this way. Now crypto is battling to become an integral part of the future — Money 2.0.

Sceptics would argue that digital currencies would never be legally accepted as an alternative means of payment, let alone replacing traditional fiat money. However, there are many people out there who think otherwise, including Mercuro founders and the entire team.

We are creating a whole new experience for our users introducing a different meaning of crypto, guiding you to a new world where cryptocurrency is not just a speculative instrument but money, in essence, perfect money that is invisible but keeps working in the background.

When you come to the store with children, they have no idea of money, and how it works, all they know is their desire.

In the nearest future, there should be no money as an object, only your wish and the interface between you and your wish. Digital currency is perfect for fulfilling that purpose.

Banks picked this up as well and invested multi-million dollar budgets in digital transformation to become more than just a financial institution but a service that makes your dreams come true. It allows you to buy tickets, pay for the hotels, communicate with the government authorities most comfortably, pay your utility bills online.

But due to a lot of bureaucracy, complex system architecture and overloaded operational processes, the digitalization does not run very quickly within the banking industry. New features sit in the backlog for months and years waiting for the resources, budget, prioritization and approval from top executives. Therefore competing with cryptocurrency is quite a challenging task even for the most advanced financial institutions.

That’s why many professionals from banking and payment industry switched to crypto to be able to influence the way we and further generations deal with money and develop powerful tools like Mercuryo — an interface between you and your desires that simplifies your daily financial routine without compromising on information security.

Soon enough, you will be able to pay with crypto in your daily life. 
All you’re going to need is your Mercuryo wallet, and magic will do the rest.
Swish — swish!