Media-Markt, the number one electronics retailer in Europe, has decided to roll out Bitcoin ATMs at twelve of its branches throughout Austria, according to a report by local newspaper Kleine Zeitung.
Customers will be able to purchase Bitcoin at Kurant vending machines. Kurant, which was founded as a spin-off of Coinfinity back in 2017, currently operates 200 Bitcoin ATMs in Austria, Spain, Greece, and Germany.
Media-Markt started testing such functionality in 2019 at one of its branches in Vienna. It has now decided to expand it due to strong demand.
Last November, MediaMarkt fell victim to a crippling ransomware attack. The hackers initially were initially demanding a whopping $240 million worth of Bitcoin, but they later settled for a $50 million payment after negotiating with the electronics outlet. Due to the attack, MediaMarkt was no longer able to accept credit card payments in some of its stores.
Last year, American retail behemoth Walmart quietly installed 200 Bitcoin ATMs across the U.S in partnership with Coinme.
According to data provided by CoinATMRadar, there’s more than 36,806 ATMs around the world. The vast majority of them are located in the U.S, with Europe only accounting for a small portion of cryptocurrency vending machines.
The Financial Conduct Authority, the main financial regulator in the U.K., moved to ban Bitcoin ATMs last month in order to prevent cryptocurrencies from facilitating money laundering. The operators of crypto vending machines often get accused of ignoring illicit activity.