Argentina’s Bitcoin Adoption Hits a Snag as Nearly 1,600 Crypto ATMs May Not Get Deployed
A promise that Argentina may receive thousands of bitcoin ATMs may not come through. Odyssey Group, the promisor, had stated that it intends to provide 150 bitcoin-enabled ATMs by the end the year and to distribute thousands throughout 2019. The ambitious plan was a significant move, especially given that it would give Argentina the majority of bitcoin ATMs.
There are many who viewed the ATMs as a method for Argentina to overcome its economic struggles, currency devaluation, and to combat against inflation as well. For instance, since 2018, the peso declined in value by over 50 percent. Odyssey’s move would have come at just the right time.
However, one month before the company was supposed to start implementing its project, it seemed to have backtracked and its CEO Sebastian Ponceliz stated,
“The expected start date of the ATMs in Argentina was postponed.”
Though the delay is simply a normal course of action taken by a company, there are those who state that Odyssey’s actions are actually typical of its general position on promises – which is to not follow through.
For instance, last year, Ponceliz reported that his company’s subsidiary Octagon would install l250 BATMs in Buenos Aires and that the implementation would provide support for Litecoin, Ethereum, and both fiat and cryptocurrencies. Then again, in May 2018, Ponceliz reported to news outlets that his company entered into an agreement with the Central Bank of Argentina Republic to install bitcoin cash points – 4,000 in total.
Oddly enough, in the same instance, Ponceliz backtracked at stated that the platform also met its cap for BATMs. Thereafter, a Reuter’s article reported,
“[Odyssey] said of the 150 ATMs it aims to install by the end of the year in Argentina, 80 percent of those will be bitcoin-operational within the first months of 2019.”
It is clear that Odyssey has not followed through with its promises. Right now, there are only three bitcoin-enabled ATMs in the country. And those machines have not been installed by Odyssey or its subsidiary, but another company called Athena Bitcoin.
When another platform reached out to Odyssey for comment, the company stated,
“Odyssey group has introduced a revolutionary change in Argentina, not only regulatory, but also technological. This has involved coordinated the joint work of numerous government entities and business organization.” He added, “The expected start date of the hybrid ATMs in Argentina was postponed with the purpose of adjusting all the legal and technical requirements demanded by the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic and the financial system partners of the local market.”
Even though the platform has not followed through on its 2018 promises, there is still time and moreover, who knows what may happen in 2019?