Honduras sets up country’s first cryptocurrency ATM giving locals automated way to purchase Bitcoin or Ether, after El Salvador makes Bitcoin legal tender
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 machine was set up by a local consulting company to make it easier for residents to purchase Bitcoin and Ether using Honduras’ official currency, the lempira.
Previously, doing so required a person to deliver lempira in cash to a cryptocurrency seller.
TGU Consulting Group set up the ATM, under the name “La Bitcoinera“, in an office tower in the capital of Tegucigalpa.
TGU said it sees cryptocurrencies as a way for Hondurans to form economic relationships both within the country and “with the rest of the world”.
“The more Hondurans have cryptocurrencies, the more they will be able to form new economic relationships in Honduras, neighboring countries, and with the rest of the world,” the company said in a statement.
He said many software developers in Honduras are already paid in cryptocurrencies, adding that the assets could make it easier to send remittances.
In 2020 Hondurans sent some $5.7 billion (£4bn) into the country, mostly from the United States, in the form of remittances – about 20 percent of Honduras’ gross domestic product.
Purchasing a cryptocurrency at the machine requires users to scan official identification and input 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 draft bills aimed at making Bitcoin legal tender.
However, central banks and financial regulators in many other countries have warned of cryptocurrencies’ notorious volatility and said buyers should be prepared to lose all their money.