Helpless Argentine Peso Drives Boost in Number of Crypto ATMs

Argentina might note a boom in the number of cryptocurrency ATMs over the next months, mainly because of the financial crisis.

Argentina might add 30 cryptocurrency ATMs by the end of 2018, Reuters reports, citing industry representatives. More Argentines are turning to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin as the country is hit by an economic crisis. The fiat currency, the Peso, lost about 45% in August and September of this year. In fact, the first crypto ATM in Argentina was launched only last month in a Buenos Aires mall by US-based firm Athena Bitcoin.

As of today, companies specializing in cryptocurrency ATMs are seeing Argentina as an ideal market for their expansion. Another US company, Odyssey Group, said that it planned to install 150 ATMs in Argentina by the end of the year, 120 of which will be “Bitcoin-operational” at the beginning of the next year. Also, Athena Bitcoin has 12 of these machines in Colombia and wants to expand in Argentina, especially after the current financial crisis.

Dante Galeazzi, Argentina operations manager at Athena Bitcoin, commented:

“Today, the 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,” he noted.

Galeazzi added that the ATMs would initially support only Bitcoin, the largest, oldest, and most popular cryptocurrency out there. Later, support for other digital coins, like Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, will also be added.

At the moment, Athena Bitcoin’s ATMs allow clients to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. Odyssey Group ATMs have additional features, including enabling customers to execute standard bank transactions, such as depositing and withdrawing cash fund or transferring funds between accounts.

Both companies intend to reach other Latin American countries as well, with Athena Bitcoin targeting Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.