At this year’s 2-day World Web Forum in Zurich, one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting firms, EY, presented two Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) to raise awareness for digital innovation. An EY team was also present to assist visitors with purchasing and spending bitcoin.
EY Raising Awareness with Bitcoin ATMs
The recent World Web Conference was a two-day leadership event with over 1,400 delegates from global corporations. The series of talks covered a rounded set of topics like energy building, communication, legal, and lifestyle, but had a focus on Fintech.
At the conference, EY Switzerland announced:
To mark the event and raise awareness for digital innovation, EY Switzerland is presenting two Bitcoin ATMs at the World Web Forum where visitors can withdraw bitcoin onto a mobile bitcoin wallet application.
EY has a wallet app which the firm provided to its employees for them to pay for products and services using bitcoin. Once the bitcoin is withdrawn, users have the option of donating it to a foundation which EY supports called Avatar Kids. “An EY team is present to assist on the bitcoin purchase and spend process”, the firm said.
Lots of Interest in EY’s BTMs
Dr. Karin Kirchner, Head of Communications and Media Relations at EY Switzerland, told Bitcoin.com:
There was a high degree of interest in BTC ATM at the event. […] Overall we had several users per hour at each of the BTMs.
She added that the main respondents seemed to be coming from companies already associated in some form with either blockchain or bitcoin. “These companies were interested in EY’s association with the currency”, she revealed.
In addition, “there was a particular interest in the Bitcoin wallet which EY made available to its employees. The adoption of the professional services firm to bitcoin-based products and services attracted a lot of attention”, she noted.
EY’s First BTM
Out of the Big Four accounting firms, EY has been the most pro-Bitcoin lately. The company announced in November that its office in Switzerland started accepting bitcoin for payment of its services.
In addition, EY Switzerland installed a BTM in the lobby of its main building, accessible to the public in Zurich. “This ATM can be used by EY employees as well as passers-by to exchange Swiss francs for bitcoins and vice versa,” the firm noted at the time.
The BTM is part of an internal EY Switzerland digitalization program and “is intended to make employees more familiar with the topics of blockchains and cryptocurrencies”.
The daily amount of bitcoin that can be topped up to a smartphone is limited to CHF 5,000. Bitaccess is the manufacturer of this BTM and the operator is Bity, a Swiss bitcoin broker based in Neuchâtel, which is roughly 76 miles from the Canton of Zug where many bitcoin service companies are located.
The fee for using this BTM is 3.0 percent for buying and 0.8 percent for selling which is actually the lowest of all the BTMs found nearby according to Coinatmradar.
In comparison, the average fee out of all 956 BTMs listed on the BTM tracking site is 8.52 percent for buying and 5.84 percent for selling.
Just a couple of months before EY installed its first BTM, another Big Four accounting firm, Deloitte, installed one in the lobby of its Toronto office. That machine charges 1 percent for both buying and selling of bitcoin, according to Coinatmradar. It is operated by Rubix and is also a Bitaccess machine. The daily transaction limit is $100 per person.
Meanwhile, the other two ‘Big Four’ firms, Pricewaterhousecoopers (PwC) and KPMG have each published some research on Bitcoin but have yet to install their own BTMs.
What do you think of EY’s strategy to raise awareness using BTMs? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of EY and World Web Forum.
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