LONDON and SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (9/5/14)--The ATM Industry Association (ATMIA) does not view bitcoin as a threat to cash or electronic payment methods, but seeks to include the unregulated digital currency within its governance framework, the organization said in a position paper released this week.
The global association, with more than 5,000 members in 65 countries, recommends increased support and supervision of bitcoin ATMs to ensure they abide by security best practices and maintain the industry's current high levels of consumer trust.
"With over 120 bitcoin ATMs already installed in a variety of countries, the time is right to integrate them upfront into an industry with a proven four-decade-long track record of secure, convenient services to cardholders and consumers," said Mike Lee, ATMIA CEO.
The paper outlines the nature and recent growth of the decentralized digital currency and discusses the industry issues still to be addressed, such mitigating fraud risks, hacking attacks and money laundering. The paper advises the best way for this to happen is through integration into the ATM industry with its established governance framework and security best practices.
Specifically, ATMIA recommends a joint clarification of conditions for a "license to operate" for bitcoin ATMs as well as peer relationships between bitcoin operators and exchanges and the wider payments industry, including stakeholders in the ATM industry. New international security best practices for digital currencies could be produced jointly to reduce the risk of cybercrime attacks.
"Finally, the introduction of an international accreditation program for bitcoin ATM operators, including ongoing education and training programs, would seal the deal and set us on course for a successful synergy between bitcoin innovators and established operators," Lee said.