Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the main international airport in the Netherlands, has installed the first European airport Bitcoin ATM according to a press release on 20 June 2018. This is the 20th Bitcoin ATM installed in the Netherlands, placing the Netherlands 12th in the world for number of Bitcoin ATMs. Currently, Europe has 21.45% of the 3,292 Bitcoin ATMs in the world, while North America dominates at 74.39%.

The director of consumer products and services at Schiphol, Tanja Thick, said the machine was installed to give travelers an option to convert their remaining cash from the local currency EUR to a global currency like Bitcoin or Ethereum, so that they could use the currency when they get home. This will begin as a six-month trial to test interest in the service, and this Bitcoin ATM is being provided via a partnership with The Byecoin Company.

Indeed, a traveler could easily convert Bitcoin or Ethereum to their local fiat currency when they get back home if they have access to a Bitcoin ATM that has cryptocurrency to fiat functionality, which is called a two-way Bitcoin ATM. Some 37% of Bitcoin ATMs have two-way functionality while the remainder only allow users to buy cryptocurrency with cash. If a two-way Bitcoin ATM is not available, a user can simply send the Bitcoin purchased at the Schiphol ATM to their cryptocurrency exchange account, where it can be sold for their local fiat and deposited to their bank account.

Essentially, Bitcoin provides travelers an alternative option to currency exchange stores. This doesn’t necessarily save on fees, since Bitcoin ATMs often have fees of 10% or even more. However, it is safer for travelers to store their money as cryptocurrency since it is not vulnerable to physical theft.

 

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