LONDON, June 22, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
Though the recent correction may have axed the value of cryptocurrencies in half - they are not down for the count. The cryptocurrency market is still valued at more than $295 billion. And as Rostin Behnam, the chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently stated: "These currencies are not going away, and they will proliferate to every economy and every part of the planet. We are witnessing a technological revolution. Perhaps we are witnessing a modern miracle." Mentioned in today's commentary includes: Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP), Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC), Kodak (NYSE: KODK), IBM (NYSE: IBM), Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP).
And Benham is not alone in his view: the anticipated growth for the cryptocurrency market is simply staggering. Analysts from the Royal Bank of Canada have gone on record stating that the long-term value of the global cryptocurrency market could top $10 trillion in the years ahead. And one of the fastest growing "niches" within the global cryptocurrency market is crypto-ATMs.
Crypto-ATMs - where customers can simply walk up and trade cryptos, like a regular bank ATM - have exploded, doubling in 2017 alone. There are currently about 8,368 crypto-ATMs around the world.
Of those, Bitcoin ATMs make up 3,233 of the machines. And Bitcoin ATM sites are growing at a rate of 10 new machines a day. 76% of all the global crypto-ATMs are located in North America; the U.S. leads the way with 1,330 ATMs.
Forbes magazine called the Crypto-ATMs the "future of banking... an innovative solution to solve one of the world's biggest problems - banking barriers."
Crypto-currencies are being quickly adapted by folks historically shut out of traditional banking. And the rise of Crypto-ATMs is making access even faster and more convenient. And one company is making moves in an effort to dominate crypto-ATMs in the most underserved market in North America.
QPAGOS (QPAG) is a U.S. based payment systems company doing business in Mexico. They specialize in the creation, installation, maintenance, sales and rental of electronic payment kiosks. These kiosk locations allow customers to make transactions like paying bills or sending money - without having a bank account.
Here are 10 reasons why investors should consider looking more closely into shares of QPAGOS.
REASON 1: Mexico is a "Cryptocurrency Paradise".
Overseas investing and travel site Escape Artist called Mexico a potential crypto-currency paradise, because: "No country on earth offers better access to Bitcoin and none offers the FIAT to crypto and crypto to FIAT exchange systems available in Mexico."
Mexico boasts two major crypto-exchanges: Bitso and Volabit. And access to the crypto-exchanges is easy. Literally anyone can buy Bitcoin in Mexico - even if they don't have a bank account. All transactions are handled within the crypto-universe.
Mexico averages about $6.52 million (MXN) of crypto transactions every single week. That's $339,040,000 (MXN) worth of Bitcoin transactions per year. And that's just the Bitcoin transactions - that doesn't begin to count all the other crypto-currencies out there.
Combine the popularity of cryptos with the ability to go from crypto-to-cash or vice-versa - and Mexico would seem the ideal market for crypto-based ATM systems. Yet there are only 11 active ATM kiosks in the whole country. And this is where QPAGOS could have its biggest impact.
REASON 2: QPAGOS is adding 63 times more crypto ATMs to a Mexican market desperately in need of easy access
QPAGOS has the potential to completely transform the crypto ATM marketplace in Mexico. The company is already an established payment provider, with a network of 700 personal payment kiosks set up across Mexico. And now, every single one of these kiosks has the potential to become an approved Crypto ATM… multiplying the number of approved Crypto-ATMs by 63 times.
This one move could make QPAGOS one of the single largest providers of crypto-currency transactions, outside of the two big exchanges.
REASON 3: Mexico's new crypto-regulations make it easy to use crypto-currencies to pay for every day goods and services
Mexico recently passed new rules regulating crypto-currencies. However, rather than reining in the use of cryptos, as South Korea did, the new regulations codify the use of cryptocurrencies into the law of the land.
According to Daniel Luévano, director of operations for the local Mexican crypto exchange ISBIT, thanks to the new regulations "The amount of money and transactions that can migrate to crypto and its technology is huge."
And for QPAGOS, the law also establishes electronic payment companies as one of two "Financial Technology Institutions" sanctioned to conduct crypto transactions. Customers will be able to not only buy and sell Bitcoin and others, they'll also be able to use its crypto-ATMs to pay for goods and services.
REASON 4: QPAGOS is in the business of filling major voids in traditional banking
Mexico is a mostly cash society. 65% of the population does not have a bank account. 80% of all retail payments are made in cash. One reason Mexico remains a cash-dominant society, as the rest of the world is moving away from cash, is that traditional banking in Mexico is highly inefficient.
As the Financial Times pointed out, "With long queues, high fees and low cash machine coverage, Mexican banks have a reputation for poor customer service."
There are only 14 bank branches for every 100,000 residents (the U.S. boasts 33). The Mexican government's National Survey of Financial Inclusion found that the average travel time to a bank branch was 42 minutes in rural areas and 22 minutes in urban settings. And QPAGOS has jumped into the void created by Mexico's banks, with cutting edge technology for payment services.
QPAGOS' 700 state-of-the-art digital kiosks allow customers to pay bills, cell phone accounts, car payments, etc., without ever involving traditional banks. And now, these same familiar kiosks will let customers buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies.
REASON 5: QPAGOS (QPAG) is already becoming a trusted source for quick and easy payment processing
Offering digital payment services to over 140 service providers, cash-centric Mexican citizens seem to be accepting QPAGOS as an easy, convenient way to avoid long travel times and longer lines, by simply using one of the companies 700 kiosks. And because QPAGOS has agreements with 140 mainstream service providers, customers can easily make payments for most services, including utilities, cable TV companies, and municipalities.
REASON 6: Mobile Convenience
Mexico has over 107 million mobile phone users - the second largest in Latin America. And nearly 90% rely on some form of pre-payment plan to stay connected - requiring the user to make a payment up front for mobile usage. "Top-ups" are traditionally done at retail locations, like supermarkets or convenience stores. Arrangements with the top mobile providers, including Nextel and AT&T, allow QPAGOS customers to avoid the hassles, and make quick and easy payments.
REASON 7: Multiple Sources of Revenue
QPAGOS makes money through multiple income streams. It receives fixed transaction fees on all payments processed; commissions and fees for processing payments to utilities, mobile, and transportation companies; customized kiosks for sales and rentals, such as Movistar. And it plans to soon be cashing in on a piece of Mexico's $6.52 million (MXN) of weekly Bitcoin transactions.
REASON 8: Customization
The company's kiosks can be customized to meet many different needs of many different clients. For instance, kiosks can be installed in retail locations, to make customer purchases easier and more convenient, eliminating long lines and retail-floor bottle-necks.
Banks and other institutions, virtually inaccessible to most citizens, can set up remote kiosks to reach more customers - as well letting customers make payments inside branches, relieving congestion at teller windows.
The potential market for QPAGOS payment kiosks is virtually endless. Ease of access is a great reason for this company to be given the okay to begin processing crypto-currency transactions to virtually all 700 of their existing, and future kiosk locations.
REASON 9: the number of digital transactions in Mexico is only going up
Digital spending in Mexico is expected to double over the next 3 years - ramping up from 7.19 million users to an expected 14.88 million by 2021. And in 2019, revenue generated by e-commerce is expected to climb to more than $40 billion USD. And QPAGOS seems perfectly positioned to carve off a slice of that $40 billion industry for itself.
REASON 10: All roads lead to INCREASING revenue
QPAGOS' (QPAG) business model and multiple streams of income are paying off. The company is having a great 2018 so far. For the first quarter of the year, revenues jumped 58% year-over-year. And are up 37% from the previous quarter.
And the company continues to expand its services and locations across the country. Three new kiosks were installed in Observatorio station, one of Mexico City's busiest Metro stations, with an average 77,205 passengers passing through every day. And as the crypto-ATM transactions ramp up, analysts are expecting to see this kind of growth accelerating in the months and years ahead.
Other companies to watch as the fintech revolution takes hold:
Shopify Inc (NYSE: SHOP) is a Canadian e-commerce company. More than 500,000 companies rely on Shopify's real-time e-commerce, including Tesla, Budweiser and Red Bull, among many others. Shopify makes purchasing goods and services easy for anyone - and in a time where convenience is king, Shopify surely has staying power.
Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) is a leader in multiple fields of technology. The forward-thinking industry giant is the backbone of many laptops and PCs running the Windows operating system. The company has been so successful in its deal-making and advertising that it is impossible to escape its influence.
Kodak (NYSE: KODK) The venerable film and camera company Eastman Kodak was in the news late in 2017: the company announced it was launching its own corporate crypto-currency, KodakCoin. KodakCoin has already raised $8 million, though its ICO has been delayed a few weeks to allow the SEC to ensure all the buyers are fully accredited.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) Another old company with pedigree, IBM has suffered from sluggish performance, posting only a single quarter of positive revenue growth in the last five years. But IBM has a trick up its sleeve: its technicians and engineers are masters of blockchain technology and the cloud.
Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) To much fanfare, Snap IPO'ed earlier this year and managed to surprise many analysts. Snap Inc. operates as a camera company. It offers Snapchat, a camera application that helps people to communicate through short videos and images. The company also provides a suite of content tools for partners to build, edit, and publish snaps and attachments based on editorial content.
By. Joao Piexe
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