Brick and Mortar crypto exchanges find a niche market

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Physical interactions with digital currencies are increasingly prevalent, with more physical exchanges complementing the proliferation of crypto ATMs in North and Central America

Technological barriers to exchanging cryptocurrency for fiat currency through self-service online exchanges often deter people of a certain age from getting involved in crypto. Physical exchanges are the perfect answer to this problem. They all work slightly differently, but they basically offer the following services: they teach customers how different digital currencies work, help them set up a digital wallet, and make it easier to exchange cryptocurrency for a local currency.

This differs significantly from the way self-service exchanges work in terms of customer relations; they tend to be notoriously slow in dealing with customer complaints. Physical stores seem like a guarantee that everything is flawless, for those who are skeptical of the largely unregulated crypto industry.

The cost of trust outweighs the cost of transactions

It seems that customers who frequent physical exchanges don’t mind the additional fees charged by exchanges, which can range from 0.99% to 5%. Exchanges like Binance offer fees of 0.1% to 5%, depending on the payment method. Physical exchanges, such as the Comptoir des Cybermonnaies in France, are approved by French regulators and do not accept cash to avoid money laundering. This is in stark contrast to exchanges like Binance which have faced backlash from several national regulators.

This builds confidence, that a traditional investor can enter and part with a lot more local currency than they would on an online platform. Coin Nerds, a brick-and-mortar exchange in Mississauga, Ontario, was opened in 2018, by owners who are part of a niche group of entrepreneurs who believe the world of online crypto can be brought in the real world, to serve customers from all walks of life. socio-economic classes.

Business is going well, say physical exchanges

Much of Western Europe and the United States does not have much physical exchange, due to trust in the banking system and the ubiquity of digital banking channels and the Internet. However, the activities of these exchanges are resuming.

Soaring Bitcoin prices and the reopening of stores after the pandemic have contributed to this rise in business. As an example, Comptoir des Cybermonnaies saw the number of transactions processed by six between 2019 and 2021, while Coin Nerds is looking to open a second branch in downtown Toronto early next year, after having processed $ 119 million in transactions. in 2020. That, added to the more than 200 crypto ATMs in El Salvador and the more than 24,000 ATMs in the United States, means more people will board the crypto wagon, for which online platforms have historically posed seemingly insurmountable drawbacks.

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