The introduction of crypto ATMs in El Salvador is set to make it a lot easier to get your hands on Bitcoin.
According to a company official, Athena plans to supply El Salvador’s future crypto-based economy with 1500 Bitcoin ATMs.
The distribution will begin slowly, with a few dozen units being tested to determine a business model. The Chicago-based company intends to invest more than $1 million in bitcoin ATMs in areas where citizens receive remittances from abroad.
It will also hire staff and build an office in El Salvador to carry out activities in addition to installing the new machines.
Athena presently operates only two of these ATMs in El Salvador, one at El Zonte beach as part of an experiment called “Bitcoin Beach” aiming at turning the town into one of the world’s first crypto economies, and the other in El Tunco.
Matias Goldenhörn, Athena’s Latin America director, told us that Salvadorian President Nayib Bukele had “presented us with a difficult target of 1,500 ATMs, which we will go for in phases.” We are a private corporation, and we want to make sure that our growth in the country is long-term.”
Following the passage of a measure making Bitcoin legal tender, Athena announced its plans to expand in the country on June 17. President Bukele was tagged by the firm, who asked if a thousand machines would suffice. He replied that he had set his sights on a higher figure.
According to Coinatmradar, the business model is likely to differ from that in the United States, where there are already 19,325 BTC ATMs.
“At first, we’ll introduce dozens of machines and evaluate the business model in El Salvador, which will most likely be different than in the United States,” says the company.
El Salvador’s attempt to adopt Bitcoin has already been met with opposition from the World Bank, which has declined to help the government with the changeover, citing “environmental and transparency issues” linked with the digital currency.
An opposing political party filed a complaint on June 22 arguing that the new Bitcoin regulation is unconstitutional and harmful to the country.