In Austria, electronics retailer Saturn has placed Bitcoin ATMs inside its stores for several years. Now, the service is rolled out in Germany starting with a six-month test period.
Saturn, one of the largest German electronics retails stores will install Bitcoin ATM machines. MediaMarkt, its main competitor although both brands are owned by the same holding, has already offered the service to customers in Austria since April.
While the UK has temporarily shut down Bitcoin ATM operations, Germany already provides a regulatory framework that allows legal operation.
Saturn is now launching a six-month pilot project in Germany with bitcoin vending machines that promise to allow exchange of euro bills for bitcoin. Initially, the vending machines will be located in selected stores in Dortmund, Frankfurt at Main and Cologne. Customers have already been able to exchange their cash for cryptocurrencies here since the beginning of May.
For the project, Saturn is working with Kurant, a company from Austria that describes itself as the European market leader for Bitcoin vending machines. Since many users like to purchase bitcoin for cash, Saturn wants to use the vending machines to make it easier for customers to get started.
To use the physical bitcoin vending machine in one of the stores, customers must register and go through a long process of verification. After that, using the Bitcoin ATM for the purchase or sale of bitcoin is fairly easy and convenient.
“The demand for cryptocurrencies is enormous – especially our tech-savvy customers are very interested in Bitcoin and Co,” Christian Stephan, Head of Innovation Research at Mediamarktsaturn Retail Group, told Computer Bild about the establishment of the bitcoin vending machines in Germany. The company previously launched a similar project in Austria in 2019. Initially, there was only one of the vending machines in a Mediamarkt in the provincial capital of Vienna, but eleven more locations have since been added. Expansion across the national border is therefore only the next logical step.