Salmon Arm is now more connected to the world of cryptocurrency with the installation of the city’s first Bitcoin ATM.
The machine, which was recently installed in Centenoka Park Mall, is operated by a company called Honey Badger. According to its website, HoneyBadger operates 30 cryptocurrency kiosks in B.C. alone and more than 1oo across Canada. Along with Bitcoin, HoneyBadger kiosks deal in Litecoin and Ethereum, two other prominent cryptocurrencies.
Mall owner Lance Johnson said he became interested in the Bitcoin ATMs after seeing them installed at other shopping centres he has toured in Western Canada and the U.S. Johnson said the kiosk has been up and running for three weeks, allowing people to both purchase cryptocurrency and sell theirs for cash.
Johnson said installation of the kiosk in the mall was slightly delayed because HoneyBadger was on the verge of launching a new model of kiosk. He said the kiosk, which sports a large touch-screen display is one of the first of its kind in Western Canada. The kiosk is located near Dollar Tree in the mall.
Johnson said he sees Salmon Arm becoming a more and more technologically advanced community and believes that Bitcoin will become more widely used in the future.
HoneyBadger’s announcement about the installation of the kiosk acknowledges the role Bitcoin played in some recent scams but also details the ways customers are kept safe from fraud.
HoneyBadger stated there are large call centres abroad which use internet chat rooms, dating and social media sites in an effort to prey on vulnerable people and convince them to transfer wealth. Both Bitcoin and more traditional banking methods have been used for the fraudulent transfer of funds.
Bitcoin is decentralized by nature. It relies on an open and distributed online ledger called a blockchain which records transactions of the online currency without the need for a third-party financial institution overseeing the exchange.
According to the announcement, HoneyBadger fully complies with federal cryptocurrency regulations enacted this year which require them to verify customer identities prior to transactions, report all transactions with values over $10,000 and report suspicious transactions and suspected money laundering to the authorities. The company uses software to analyze every transaction it has a hand in and temporarily freezes the sale if either the buyer or seller has suspicious activity on their accounts.