The Bitcoin price plunge since late 2017 highs, hasn’t slowed down business for Australia’s largest Bitcoin ATM network.
Sam Karagiozis, the founder of Auscoin, has revealed his company is currently turning over AU$500,000 a week.
“We currently have 31 Auscoin ATMs in Australia… and our turnover is $500,000 a week, which is just insane considering how much the price of Bitcoin has dropped,” Mr Karagiozis told the Daily Mail.
“It just shows there really is a market for it and cryptocurrency is seen as a way of the future for many.”
Grand plan on track despite ICO failure
Early in 2018, Auscoin launched a controversial ICO that was heavily criticised in the Australian media.
It hoped to raise $30m to fund a roll-out of more than 1000 ATMs across Australian and around 300 across Asia.
Auscoin token holders were to be rewarded with cheaper ATM fees, however, the ICO failed – only raising around $2m as crypto prices began falling sharply.
Despite the ICO failure, the company still has vision to build a network of more than 1200 Bitcoin ATM access points across Australia.
“AUSCOIN Group has identified 600 premium locations across all states in Australia and already have over 100 retailers who have expressed an interest in accepting AUSCOIN as a preferred payment method,” says the company.
“We believe the most significant barrier to entry for everyday people in the cryptocurrency market is accessibility.”
Karagiozis, Kyrgios and the Bitcoin bull market
As Auscoin planned its ambitious ICO late in 2017, the Bitcoin bull market was in full swing.
Mr Karagiozis, like many other crypto entrepreneurs, believed the bulls would continue to run.
He predicted Bitcoin would reach $100,000 by the end of 2018.
“In terms of Bitcoin, with all the media attention you saw the price skyrocket and then the early investors who had made all this profit took their money and cashed out,” he says.
“As the early investors started cashing out, the people who got in later got frightened and you saw the price just plummet because there was a real lack of confidence.”
Mr Karagiozis admitted selling Bitcoin to Australian tennis start Nick Kyrgios.
The pair became close acquaintances and Karagiozis was invited to be a guest in Kyrgios’ player’s box at the 2018 Australian Open.
Kyrgios has earned almost US$7m in tennis prize money, but it’s not clear how much Bitcoin he purchased.
Looking into the future, Karagiozis, believes the price of Bitcoin will eventually recover to surpass previous highs.
“It may have lost some of its buzz but I’m bullish long term in Bitcoin, I still believe in it like I did last year – I just don’t think there will be many more overnight millionaires.”
Despite Auscoin’s strong turnover, it hasn’t all been smooth sailing for Mr Karagiozis.
He says his cryptocurrency investments are down around AU$3m, while over the past year he’s also lost around AU$2m on property.