In an attempt to combat the inflationary effects of a collapsing Argentine economy (and more likely to capitalize on a market opportunity), Athena Bitcoin and Odyssey Group have decided to launch 30 crypto ATMs in the country by the end of 2019. The move is expected to bring more people into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Crypto ATMs in Argentina
The crypto atm announcement comes after Athena recently opened the first ever Bitcoin ATM in Argentina, in a Buenos Aires shopping mall. Athena Bitcoin operations manager, Dante Galeazz, stated –
“Today, cryptocurrency ATMs in the world are growing exponentially. In Argentina, there were no commercial ATMs, and the idea was to be the first to capture the market.
With currency devaluations, we have seen a spike in Bitcoin transactions. We see that as a safeguard to (the peso’s) value, as well as an opportunity to invest in the market.”
The company already has 12 ATMs in operation in Colombia, so the move is not completely unexpected. Both companies are expected to expand into Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. It could turn out to be an excellent market move, as many believe that conditions in Argentina are going to get worse before they get better. The country has recently seen strikes, food and electricity inflation, 60% interest rates, and severe austerity measure with various budgets being slashed. However, they do have the support of the IMF, who are giving the country record bailouts to hold the Peso stable.
Crypto ATMs across the globe
It is becoming a common phenomenon. When countries start collapsing, people are now starting to turn towards cryptocurrency. This has already been seen on a wide scale in Venezuela and Turkey. In Turkey, a staggering 18% of the population are said to own or transact in Bitcoin. There has also been a general proliferation in Bitcoin ATMs across the globe. A full list of all operating ATMs can be seen on coinatmradar.com.
At the time of this writing, there are currently nearly 4,000 crypto ATMs in 76 countries with over 500 independent crypto ATM operators. BTC and LTC crypto ATMs predominate, though there are also significant numbers of BCH, ETH, and DASH crypto ATMs.
It is growing into a thriving business, and the cryptocurrency sector as a whole is generating many business side chains which are proving quite lucrative. As it stands, these crypto ATMs do have a drawback in terms of the fees for transactions, which can run quite high. But with inflation running at 1,000,000% annualized, it is quite a bargain.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.