Maltese Blockchain Island Expands Crypto Use With First Two-Way Bitcoin ATM
If anyone has seen the news in the financial world lately, they can see how popular Malta has been in advancing the crypto industry. There have been three new laws established that deal with both crypto and blockchain, which have modeled the way that other countries are handling the activity.
However, by bringing in a Bitcoin ATM from Moon Zebra, locals are able to transact without even using their own devices. Right now, it is located on Tower Road in Sliema, at the Quicklets office.
Crypto ATMs let consumers withdraw their cryptocurrency in the same way that a regular ATM lets them withdraw fiat currency. To access their account, they can deposit currency, enter their public key for the account, and send off the currency. The reverse can be done too, retrieving the fiat funds for cash. Though Altcoins will be available in the future, the only token that Moon Zebra will allow to be transacted with their new ATMs will be Bitcoin for now.
Leon Siegmund, who is a self-proclaimed Bitcoin maximalist, and Jonas Abrahamsson, a businessman, are responsible for putting Moon Zebra together. Siegmund has a prominent role in Malta’s crypto economy, founding the Bitcoin Club Malta for meetings and events that help to bring attention to the Bitcoin platform locally.
Siegmund recently made statements to CCN, discussed the low-tech concept of the Bitcoin ATM and how it will make crypto more mainstream for the everyday consumer.
“When I moved to Malta two years ago there was a not much happening regarding bitcoin and decentralized ledger technology. But within just 2 years and thanks to the collaborative effort of many individuals, something very special happened. In the beginning of 2017, I met Jonas Abrahamsson at the Bitcoin Meetup in Gozo and we tried to find something that would be appreciated by the local Bitcoin community in Malta and our first idea was to set up public trash bins on the island. These would be would be digital and would reward usage with tokens – a great idea I have to say but which never came to fruition. Another idea was a Bitcoin ATM. It is very difficult to operate here because banks are very hostile and don’t want to support us but after much blood, sweat and tears, we are happy to launch.”
Malta, as a whole, has the ability to take these opportunities in commerce and crypto to transform their economy. However, that’s good news for Bitcoin and crypto as well, since they have become a major hotspot for this type of activity. Their history with Bitcoin ATMs has not always been positive, since their first ATM went missing and results in a loss of €3000. Luckily, Moon Zebra’s intention is to provide consistent maintenance and security for their ATMs, as they progress with other projects.