Bitcoin’s Future with Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mintz

August 14, 2023 –  On today’s show we welcome special guest, Bitcoin Depot CEO Brandon Mintz. Bitcoin Depot operates the largest bitcoin ATM network in the world. On the show, we discuss:

  • Brandon’s “bitcoin moment” and what initially got him interested in the cryptocurrency
  • His entrepreneurial journey and where he got the idea to start the company
  • Why their customers use ATMs instead of online exchanges to buy bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Depot’s growth initiatives, including their approach to M&A
  • What he believes is in store for the future of bitcoin


Welcome investors to The Absolute Return Podcast. Your source for stock market analysis, global macro musings and hedge fund investment strategies, your hosts, Julian Klymochko, and Michael Kesslering aim to bring you the knowledge and analysis you need to become a more intelligent and wealthier investor. This episode is brought to you by Accelerate Financial Technologies. Accelerate because performance matters. Find out more at

Julian Klymochko: All right. I’d like to welcome Brandon, CEO of Bitcoin Depot to the show today. I’m super excited to have you on because number one, I’m a bitcoin bull. I’ve liked it for a long time. And number two, Bitcoin Depot is new to the public markets. So, interested in getting into the weeds a little bit about what your goal is to accomplish as a public company, but prior to getting into that, whenever I come across someone into Bitcoin and crypto, first thing I want to know is what was your Bitcoin moment specifically, you know, when did it really click that this cryptocurrency could be something meaningful?

Brandon Mintz: Well, first off, thanks Julian for having me on. My moment really goes back to college. I was a student at the University of Georgia. I remember I was writing a paper on alternative financial services for a class and didn’t really understand how many people in the country, nearly a quarter of the population relied on services such as money remitters, like Western Union or MoneyGram, or Check Cashing Stores or Prepaid Card Services, et cetera. And shortly after that, I discovered Bitcoin and I understood the benefit for all of those purposes, but also for merchants, because Bitcoin is irreversible and just being able to move value that quickly around the world with one currency versus, you know, over a hundred currencies available worldwide, it just made a lot of sense. And then when I went to go buy it, it was extremely difficult, and it took me multiple weeks. Ultimately, I ended up finding a way to buy Bitcoin with cash, and that’s when I decided to start a business in the industry. And here we are today.

Julian Klymochko: So, your first thought about Bitcoin was interesting and efficient payment rails way to transfer value, not necessarily as an investment or digital gold, so to speak.

Brandon Mintz: Well, digital gold was one component of it as well, but I think at the time I was really focused on the use cases.

Julian Klymochko: Right. So, you discover Bitcoin, you get interested, intrigued, and then you decide to start a company around that. Can you talk about the formation of Bitcoin Depot and, what the start and the founding of the company was like?

Brandon Mintz: Bitcoin Depot started in 2016. I was tinkering with Bitcoin ATMs a little bit. Not sure if I wanted to pivot from my previous business model which was very similar. And once I graduated from the University of Georgia, I just decided to go full force and I bought a few Bitcoin ATMs and deployed them in Atlanta, Georgia, the summer of 2016. And they ended up working really well. I just liked the fact that, you know, I could be asleep at night and these Bitcoin ATMs could be getting sales and it was just a lot more scalable of a business model versus my previous company, Cash to Crypto that just had a lot of manual processes involved.

Julian Klymochko: Right. And now Bitcoin Depot has come a long way in those seven or so years. Now, a public company. Why should investors get excited about Bitcoin Depot now that you’re publicly listed? You know, what do you tell an investor in your, so to speak elevator pitch to get them really excited about digging more into the business model and the stock?

Brandon Mintz: Well, we’re the largest Bitcoin ATM company in the world with the largest retailer relationships. We’re vertically integrated with our in-house software, which is bid access, that’s been able to cut millions of dollars of expenses per year. And Bitcoin Depot and its performance has not historically been correlated to the price of Bitcoin. A large number of the other public crypto companies in the US at least seem to have some sort of correlation with the price of Bitcoin in terms of their financials.

Julian Klymochko: Yeah, it’s really good point. Specifically, the Bitcoin miners as an amateur crypto mine myself, I know that personally. It’s ruthlessly cyclical, highly capital intensive, and there’s just a ton of operating leverage. When prices are high and rising, you do very well. But when they’re low and going lower, or at least low and flat, it’s pretty painful experience to have all this expensive equipment effectively generating unprofitable revenue. And with that, customers have a lot of ways to acquire Bitcoin. I always get this question from investors when looking at crypto ATM companies. They’re like, why would customers use an ATM instead of say like a Coinbase or a Kraken or these other ways of buying online?

Brandon Mintz: Well, I think a lot of people don’t understand. Let’s look at traditional financial services. Well, why wouldn’t everyone in the world just send a wire transfer or use an app to move money around? Well, a lot of people don’t trust or understand those payment methods. They may not have access to them, they may not have bank accounts available to them or debit or credit cards. But also, a lot of people just get paid in cash or methods that are typically converted to cash like a check, for example. And it’s just a lot easier to use a Bitcoin ATM versus those alternative options. And that’s why all those alternative financial services like, you know, Western Union, MoneyGram, Check Cashing Stores, et cetera, that I said earlier exist when banks offer so much in today’s world.

Julian Klymochko: Right? So, investors with brokerage accounts or professional investors generally would be a different demographic. They’re not using Check Cash in places, they’re not relying on the cash economy, and they obviously have bank accounts. But what you’re saying is that a lot of people in the US don’t necessarily even have basic financial services.

Brandon Mintz: Yeah, according to the FDIC, it’s somewhere over 20% of the US population that is considered [0:6:50] or unbanked. But beyond that, the need for Bitcoin Depot product also stems from the speed of the transactions. You can get in and out in as little as a minute from signing up to completing a transaction depending on how quick you are and the amount of cash that you insert, but also the convenience and familiarity factors as well. Most people in this country, I would argue, have used a cash ATM in the US and in probably Canada as well. And moving from a cash ATM user experience to a Bitcoin atm user experience is not going to be drastically different. The machines look somewhat similar. Our type of hardware is even made by a prominent atm manufacturer as well. So that just tells you how similar they are, and for a lot of people being able to just stop in where they were already going to grab a cup of coffee on the way to work and let’s say a Circle K and also buy Bitcoin just seems a lot easier.

Julian Klymochko: Yeah. And I know from experience I’ve utilized Bitcoin ATMs, and it is super simple, very quick process if you do want to convert cash money into crypto. So, I understand that there’s a lot of misunderstanding in the market and talk about misunderstanding. I don’t think anyone misunderstands crypto more than the regulators. Specifically, the SEC seems to be coming down pretty hard on the industry, seeing a lot of heat on the exchanges. And one difference, I believe with your model is non-custodial in nature, meaning, you don’t have client accounts that they can be concerned with. And that’s why, you know, there’s a lot of heat on these other service providers and running what the SEC deems unregulated exchanges. Can you talk about how your business perhaps differs on the regulatory side or what concerns should investors have from the regulatory risk perspective as it pertains to Bitcoin Depot?

Brandon Mintz: Well, we really try to focus on what’s deemed to be a safe business model and dealing with only Bitcoin, which has not been considered a security. 

Julian Klymochko: Right. 

Brandon Mintz: By the SEC. 

Julian Klymochko: Yeah. 

Brandon Mintz: So that is very helpful. We also don’t allow any sort of lending or borrowing with our users or staking of any sorts with all these other cryptos and us as any sort of counterparty. We don’t conduct any of that activity. We’re not doing any mining as well. At the end of the day, it’s a very simple business model. It’s basically a vending machine, but we’re vending a digital product Bitcoin instead of physical products. And we’re buying a small inventory of Bitcoin and repeating that throughout the day and transferring it to users when they purchase from one of our kiosks.

Julian Klymochko: Right. And so, with the focus on Bitcoin deemed not a security by the SEC zone, basically unregulated by the SEC, that being said, you guys don’t do any Ethereum or no plans to expand into other cryptocurrencies.

Brandon Mintz: Correct. We only offer Bitcoin and it’s been that way for quite a while. 

Julian Klymochko: Hence the name Bitcoin Depot and staying true to the name there. Now, from an investor’s perspective, what’s the lay of the land in terms of the macro case for Bitcoin ATMs? Where are the growth opportunities that you’re looking at?

Brandon Mintz: The macro case is really Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as a whole are a rapidly expanding technology. And according to various studies there’s estimates of somewhere between, you know, 20 and maybe 25% out there of crypto adoption in countries like the US for example. And that could be people buying and holding cryptocurrencies or doing various other things. And so, we’re still not penetrating over half of the population and that lack of adoption just creates a lot of room for growth there. And while Bitcoin Depot has not historically been correlated to the price of Bitcoin, we do believe that if the adoption of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin being one of them were to increase over time, that there will be more people buying Bitcoin, which means more people will likely be using Bitcoin ATMs we would hope. So that’s kind of the high-level macro case. And then diving in a little deeper, you have over 30,000 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide today, but 95% of those roughly are in the US and Canada. So, you still have a massive opportunity outside of North America.

Julian Klymochko: Right. And in terms of Bitcoin Depot business model focused on the ATMs, do you offer online services or alternative ways of vending Bitcoin, so to speak?

Brandon Mintz: Yeah, we do offer the ability to accept debit cards on our website. It’s a very small portion of our business, and we do offer another product called BD Checkout. Again, it’s a small portion of our business, but that is cash focused, which allows someone to place an order on our app, go to one of the retailers listed on our app. The Bitcoin Depot app, and then get a barcode from the app, scan it at the register of that retail store, hand over cash and convert the funds to Bitcoin in their wallet. It’s also very easy and quick. Takes around a minute to complete a transaction.

Julian Klymochko: Sounds pretty convenient. Now, with respect to more on the lay of the land of competitive positioning, I know that you mentioned you’re the largest out there. How do you stack up versus your competitors, say, throughout the US and North America?

Brandon Mintz: There is probably a few dozen competitors in the US and Canada that are over a hundred kiosks. But beyond that, there’s hundreds more that are less, so it’s very fragmented. We have roughly 20% market share in the US and slightly less worldwide. But the way the businesses are operated varies quite a lot. So, as I mentioned earlier, we’re vertically integrated. We have our own in-house software which has given us flexibility to constantly improve our user experience, user interface, as well as develop other functionalities like BD Checkout and a lot of other operators, they don’t have that, so they typically pay a percentage of their total sales to whoever’s software they’re using. And so that’s an added expense. In addition to that in terms of regulation. Federally we are a registered money services business. And depending on your business model in the industry, you either are, you’re not.

Most companies arguably are an MSB and then on a state-by-state basis, you have to determine whether or not a money transmitter license is required. Bitcoin Depot has over a dozen money transmitter licenses in the US and a lot of other operators, they don’t. A number of them probably should be licensed and they’re not. And they may not necessarily be following all of the pillars of a compliance program as specified by Finsense and they may not have a real experience compliance officer. They may not have transaction monitoring. They may not have independent third-party audits like Bitcoin Depot does. And so, as time goes on, it’s hard to have the resources if you’re small, to be able to comply with all that regulation and continue to provide the best user experience for your users of your Bitcoin ATMs. So, I think a lot of the smaller operators, if they’re not struggling already, they probably will be in a matter of time and we’re going to continue to see more of a consolidation of the industry. And at Bitcoin Depot, we’re trying to pave the way to be the leader in that consolidation effort. We’ve already acquired the software platform and so bringing on additional operators to that platform could create efficiencies and be very strategic.

Julian Klymochko: Certainly, at this stage of the industry, the consolidation stage, it’s a scale game, tremendous economies of scale in efficiencies to be squeezed out of the market here and with that, you’re pursuing this consolidation strategy. Can you talk about your approach to M&A and did that play into going public?

Brandon Mintz: Yeah, it definitely did. We knew that after buying the software platform that it only made sense from there to continue to grow larger both organically with our super strong retailer pipeline. And we’ve announced some new retailers that we started working with earlier this year but also inorganically through the acquisitions. We believe that there’s a number of potential opportunities in the US and there’s probably a handful internationally as well. We don’t have a very narrow scope of what exactly we’re looking for, but we want to focus on profitability. And if they are not profitable today, if there’s an opportunity for us to acquire them and make those assets profitable for us in some sort of way, then that’s very interesting to us.

Julian Klymochko: That makes a lot of sense. Now, one big piece of news with respect to the development and progression of Bitcoin Depot is, recently went public, merged with the GSRM Special Purpose Acquisition Company. What appealed to you about going public and why did you specifically choose the GSRM team? Why did they stand out to you?

Brandon Mintz: The only public was attractive to us because we wanted the ability to just gain access to more capital and use that public currency or stock. And as part of acquisitions also attracting talent and retaining talent is easier when you have a liquid stock that employees can get when they are hired, if they’re eligible, and if they’re eligible they’ll be able to sell it as well. But beyond that, it was really just time. We were a mature enough company to be able to pursue it and it just seemed like it made a lot more sense than staying private because there was not a lot of M&A already in the Bitcoin ATM space, I think it was overlooked for some odd reason. I think a lot of investors did not realize that Bitcoin mining, for example, would be so correlated to the price of Bitcoin. 

Julian Klymochko: Right. 

Brandon Mintz: And now everyone has learned that lesson if they have invested in a Bitcoin mining company or at least I would hope they would have taken notice of that. 

Julian Klymochko: Yeah. 

Brandon Mintz: So, it’s really focused on, you know, continued growth.

Julian Klymochko: And it seems like the private equity industry, which controls a lot of capital. They have largely stayed away from emerging technologies and new sectors like the crypto segment of the market. So, you really haven’t seen their playbook come into the mix on the Bitcoin ATM side. Perhaps we’ll see that, maybe not, but looks like your company is leading the charge in terms of consolidation. I assume while you do say that Bitcoin Depot’s success isn’t necessarily correlated, the price of Bitcoin, I assume that the better that Bitcoin does, the better that the company does. And with that, what is your forecast on the future of Bitcoin? Where do you see things playing out?

Brandon Mintz: Well, I can’t speak to specific price targets, but I’m definitely a believer in these three, four-year cycles that we’ve seen happen a few times already in the past. And I think there is a big opportunity coming up within the next year when that happens. But beyond that, with the BlackRock ETF filing and a number of others, trying again for ETFs, I’ve read about, you know, the opportunity for many billions of dollars to enter the industry through the spot ETF if it were to get approved. So, I think that’s really exciting. And if there’s more purchase power there, then the price of Bitcoin could potentially increase, and many more people could have access to cryptocurrency and Bitcoin Depot as well is providing access to plenty of people in the US and Canada to Bitcoin and we’re contributing to the ecosystem as well selling over a billion dollars’ worth of crypto since company inception.

Julian Klymochko: As expected. You are a Bitcoin bull as am I, but with that, I’m sure you constantly run into people who are not as bullish as you are or so-called no coiners. How do you approach and how do you talk about, you know, bitcoin as an asset class or something that they should look into to someone who is skeptical or just outright bearish?

Brandon Mintz: I try to take them to a Bitcoin Depot, ATM and just get them a quick 20 bucks and see if it helps them understand that it’s not so scary and it’s very alike to what they’ve already been using. If they’ve used PayPal or Venmo or Zelle, for example, Bitcoin is really not a whole lot different in terms of its use case. Really the major difference is in the decentralization aspect of Bitcoin and how it’s not controlled by you know, a single party.

Julian Klymochko: Yeah, it’s great point. And that’s kind of one of the main appealing factors, especially after going through a highly inflationary environment because post covid you just had a tremendous amount of money printing globally over $7 trillion in the US, so it really makes the case for Bitcoin and its scarcity and you know, set amount of bitcoins outstanding. They’re never going to expand past 21 million. So that is a key aspect to it. It’s scarcity because there’s not a lot of scarce assets these days, especially scarce digital assets. And, with that being said Brandon, anything else you want investors, listeners to know prior to letting you go here?

Brandon Mintz: Just trying to think if there’s anything I missed, but I think we’re really excited to be a public company. It’s only the beginning for us and there’s just a ton of both organic opportunities we have with the team in place, the technology we have, the retailer pipeline we have, as well as the consolidation opportunity. And there’s arguably not many options out there in the crypto world that are not historically correlated to the price of Bitcoin.

Julian Klymochko: Well, thanks so much, Brandon, for coming on the show, Bitcoin Depot. Great story. Glad to see you guys complete the going public transaction successfully, not an easy feat and looks like you are well on your way there. So, I’ll be watching from the sidelines and seeing the story play out and wishing you the best of success.

Brandon Mintz: Well, thank you so much, Julian, for having me on.

Julian Klymochko: All right, thanks. Take care. Bye everybody.

Thanks for tuning in to the Absolute Return Podcast. This episode was brought to you by Accelerate Financial Technologies. Accelerate, because performance matters. Find out more at The views expressed in this podcast to the personal views of the participants and do not reflect the views of Accelerate. No aspect of this podcast constitutes investment legal or tax advice. Opinions expressed in this podcast should not be viewed as a recommendation or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any securities or investment strategies. The information and opinions in this podcast are based on current market conditions and may fluctuate and change in the future. No representation or warranty expressed or implied is made on behalf of Accelerate as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained in this podcast. Accelerate does not accept any liability for any direct indirect or consequential loss or damage suffered by any person as a result relying on all or any part of this podcast and any liability is expressly disclaimed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


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