A cryptocurrency ATM has been set up in Honduras, as interest in digital assets grows in the region after neighboring El Salvador became the first country to make Bitcoin legal tender.
The ATM was set up by a local consulting firm to make it easier for residents to purchase Bitcoin and Ether using Honduras' official currency, the lempira.
Previously, this required a person to deliver lempira in cash to a cryptocurrency seller. TGU Consulting Group has set up the ATM, with the name “La Bitcoinera”, in an office tower in the capital Tegucigalpa.
TGU said it sees cryptocurrencies as a way for Hondurans to form economic relations both within the country and "with the rest of the world". "The more Hondurans have cryptocurrencies, the more they will be able to forge new economic relations in Honduras, neighboring countries and with the rest of the world," the company said in a statement.
TGU chief executive Juan Mayen, 28, told Reuters he plans to launch more ATMs in the country if the service is popular. He said many software developers in Honduras are already paid in cryptocurrencies, adding that the resources could make it easier to send remittances.
In 2020, Hondurans sent around $ 5,7 billion (£ 4 billion) to the country, mostly from the United States, in the form of remittances, about 20% of Honduras' gross domestic product.
Buying a cryptocurrency on the machine requires users to scan official identification and enter personal data such as a phone number.
The user must also set up a cryptocurrency wallet on a mobile device. In June, El Salvador approved a plan to make the country the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
In July, Panama also presented bills aimed at making Bitcoin legal tender. However, central banks and financial regulators in many other countries have warned of the notorious volatility of cryptocurrencies and said buyers should be prepared to lose all their money.
And what do you think of the South American opening to this new technology? Would it be the case that we too would make a move, so as not to always be late? You know we wrote an article on how buy Bitcoins? Let us know what you think in the comments below.