The ATM Industry Association has called on bitcoin ATM operators to join with it in promoting improved security and governance for virtual currency machines.
The call to action follows the publication of an ATMIA position paper on the crypto-currency which argues that bitcoin is not a threat to cash, or to established electronic payment methods.
However, the global association, which has over 5000 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.
"We reach out our hand of friendship to bitcoin ATM operators," says Mike Lee, CEO of ATMIA, "and encourage them to come within the fold of our industry and its governance framework and best practices. 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."
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.
Simon Gentry, ATMIA's public affairs adviser in Europe, argues that by setting up accreditation programmes and co-operating on best practice security guidelines, the bitcoin community would go some way to assuaging the concerns of industry regulators about the risks associated with digital currency businesses.
"Bitcoin will help address some of the valid concerns that regulators and politicians have by being seen to be part of the established and proven governance structures provided by the ATMIA," he says.