Honduras Installed First Bitcoin ATM

KEYPOINTS

  • El Salvador was the first country to legalise Bitcoin as a form of payment.
  • “La Bitcoinera” is the name given to the ATM machine.
  • There was no automated mechanism to buy crypto-currencies until recently.

The first cryptocurrency ATM opened in Honduras this week, as proponents of the digital currency hoped to boost demand after neighbouring El Salvador became the first government to recognise bitcoin as legal tender.

The machine, dubbed “la bitcoinera” by locals, allows users to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using the local lempira currency and was installed by Honduran firm TGU Consulting Group in an office tower in Tegucigalpa’s city.

Juan Mayen, TGU’s CEO, led the campaign to introduce the ATM to Honduras with the hopes of educating people about virtual assets firsthand.

Until today, he continued, there was no automated mechanism to purchase crypto-currencies.

“You had to do it peer-to-peer, look for someone who … was willing to do it, meet in person and carry X amount of cash, which is very inconvenient and dangerous given the environment in Honduras.”

One Ethereum was worth $3,237 (approximately Rs. 2.37 lakhs) on Friday, while Bitcoin was around $48,140. (roughly Rs. 35.38 lakhs). Mayen said he hopes to expand the service if it proves popular.

Hondurans living abroad, primarily in the United States, remitted $5.7 billion (approximately Rs. 41,893 crores) in remittances in 2020, accounting for roughly 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

El Salvador’s Congress adopted a proposal by President Nayib Bukele in June to make El Salvador the first country in the world to use Bitcoin as legal cash.

People are exaggerated on the new atm installation and posted their views on twitter.

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