BitAccess, Athena Bitcoin ATM Startup’s Business is Growing a Huge Presence in Latin America
There are different crypto ATM companies that are growing in Latin America. According to Matias Goldenhörn, director of Latin America operations at Athena Bitcoin commented during a conversation with CoinDesk that these ATMs area good alternative option to banks in emerging markets.
The popular website Coin ATM Radar shows that there are 4220 Crypto ATMs located all over the world. South America has just 48 of them, 1.1% of the total. Colombia is the country with the largest number of BTC ATM in the continent with 28 locations, followed by Argentina with 8 ATMs.
Jorge Farías, the CEO of the startup Cryptobuyer, commented that demand for Bitcoin ATMs that support other cryptocurrencies such as Dash increased due to several educational initiatives in Latin America. In February, Cryptobuyer is expecting to launch the first Bitcoin ATM in the country.
The co-founder of the ATM retailer BitAccess, Moe Adham, explained to CoinDesk that these machines provide near-instant liquidity for cryptocurrencies.
The number of ATMs located on the continent is growing. Why is that happening? Well, Venezuela and Argentina have very high inflation rates. This could have a positive effect in virtual currencies since users are searching for ways to store value and transact funds in an easy way. The intention is to be protected against higher inflationary rates.
Argentina and Colombia have large Venezuelan communities that escaped from the economic, political and social crisis that the country is currently living. Goldenhörn explained that Athena Bitcoin registered $3 million in net profits in 2018 after extending their machines all over the continent.
While in the United States people is purchasing Bitcoin, Goldenhörn says that in Colombia people use the ATM to withdraw cash. Some of these machines are located in Walmart Superstores, where individuals can easily find these machines. During 2019, the company aims at deploying up to 150 Bitcoin ATMs in the region.
Cryptobuyer is also planning to open 10 more Bitcoin ATMs in Argentina, 10 in Mexico and also 10 more in Venezuela.
Farías commented about this:
“The focus right now is on Mexico and Argentina, which have major immigrant populations from Venezuela. This lady of 65 years came to one of our [Panama] locations one day with a piece of paper, a QR code printed, and she said to use that her sone in Venezuela said with this paper I can send him money.”
Adham explained that BitAcess is going to offer support to 70 tokens. Furthermore, he said that aside from Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Tron (TRX), saw increased demand from users. Additionally, the demand for digital currencies grew even when the market was falling.
Although it seems that the industry continues to grow, there are some issues that must be faced by these companies. In October, the Indian police arrested the co-founder of Unicoin, an exchange in the country, after opening a crypto ATM in Bangalore. At the moment, the company is waiting for a decision on whether they need a license to operate or not.