Athena confirms plan to bring 1500 bitcoin ATMs to El Salvador
The American company Athena intends to equip the new crypto-based economy of El Salvador with 1500 Bitcoin ATMs, a company representative has confirmed.
The rollout will start small and test a few dozen machines in order to establish a business model. Headquartered in Chicago, the company plans to invest more than $ 1 million in installing crypto ATMs that will target areas where residents receive remittances from abroad.
In addition to installing new machinery, the company will also hire people and open an office to conduct operations in El Salvador.
Athena currently only operates two ATMs of this type in El Salvador, one on El Zonte Beach as part of an experiment called “Bitcoin Beach,” which aims to turn the city into one of the first crypto-economies in El Tunco, according to CNN.
Athena Latin America director Matias Goldenhörn told Reuters that Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele had given us a difficult challenge with 1,500 ATMs, we will do it, but on a case-by-case basis. We are a private company and want to ensure that our growth in the country is sustainable. “
On June 17, Athena published about its expansion plans in the country after lawmakers passed a bill to make Bitcoin legal tender. The company flagged President Bukele with the question of whether a thousand machines would be enough. He replied that he had a larger number in his sights.
1,000? What about 1,500?#BTC♻️ https://t.co/PDApT7M7T5
– Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) June 16, 2021
Goldenhörn claims the business model will likely be different from the one in the US, which currently has a total of 19,325 BTC ATMs, according to Coinatmradar.
“First we’re going to bring in dozens of machines, (we’re going to) test the business model in El Salvador, which is likely to be different from the US,” he said.
Connected: Athena Bitcoin installs first dollar-powered Bitcoin ATMs in Argentina
El Salvador’s plan to adopt Bitcoin is met with opposition from the World Bank, which has refused to help the country with its transition, citing “environmental and transparency gaps” related to financial inclusion.
On June 22, Cointelegraph reported that an opposition party had filed a lawsuit alleging that the new Bitcoin law could be unconstitutional and harmful to the country.