Cryptocurrency prices may have been tepid for most of this year but this has not affected interest in digital currencies. More efforts are underway to ensure that Bitcoin and other digital currencies reach different geographies. Bitcoin ATMs are a great tool to ensure that the oldest digital currency reaches places deprived of internet and financial services. These machines have popped up across different continents such as Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa is also not far behind.
Bitcoin ATMs in South Africa
There are four existing Bitcoin ATMs in South Africa. One Bitcoin ATM is located at Johannesburg, Nelspruit while Pretoria has two. A Bitcoin ATM is a machine which can be used to buy and sell digital currencies. It works similar to a cash ATM but people can input fiat currency in the machine which is converted to digital currency of user’s choice. The digital currency is stored in a crypto wallet and a receipt is generated to acknowledge and confirm the payment.
South Africa is one of the most prosperous countries in the African continent but Zimbabwe became the first African country to host a Bitcoin ATM. In May 2018, Johannesburg became the first South African city to have a Bitcoin ATM. The country had failed in its previous attempt of installing a Bitcoin ATM in 2014 and had to wait for four more years until 2018. According to some estimates, there are 200,000 to 300,000 people involved in cryptocurrencies in South Africa alone. Thus, there is a huge market size which could be tapped.
Shane Maguire, owner of Bitcoinhub commented:
“We are very happy with the progress we have made with our proof of concept and will be moving on to our expansion plan to deploy a nationwide network of VTM’s in the next year. Soon we will also announce the deployment of our first VTM which has two-way functionality so you will be able to both buy and sell cryptocurrencies using our machines. If you are a host location or are interested in partnering with Vendibit feel free to contact us via our website.”
Second homecoming of Bitcoin ATM in South Africa
“Lots of people in South Africa are also in the cryptocurrency space and lots of South Africans are watching it. However, not all individuals have access to it”, said George Neophytou, the General Manager of Northwold Spar. He also added that these Bitcoin ATMs had a minimum limit of R50 in the initial days which could be revised later. George said, “It is all awfully exciting. It will take away much the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream.”