Venezuela’s Crypto Community Elated as It Gets First Ever Bitcoin ATM

Following the installation, people can now access several cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Pesos and bolivars, the official …

Trying to counter inflation with its own cryptocurrency, Venezuela has been promoting its stablecoin Petro, for quite sometime now. Although the government encourages locals to adopt Petro more than any other cryptocurrency, an alternative solution to inflation, bitcoin, has been made accessible. Now, Venezuelans can easily buy bitcoin with the help of the country’s first-ever bitcoin ATM, installed in San Antonio del Táchira.

The American firm Panda BTM, installed the ATM in a convenient store, named ‘Viajes e Inversiones HC’, located in the city. Following the installation, people can now access several cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, Pesos and bolivars, the official currency of Venezuela.

The nearest bitcoin ATM available to locals is across the Columbian border. As the ATM across the border was only convenient for people living nearby, the bitcoin ATM set by Panda BTM has substantially facilitated Venezuelans.

In the past, several attempts were made to install a bitcoin ATM in Venezuela but they all went in vain. The company Cryptobuyer, planned to install bitcoin ATM in the city of Caracas however, due to unknown reasons the company was unable to implement its plan.

While Venezuela just had its first bitcoin ATM, its immediate neighbor, Columbia, is expanding the network of bitcoin ATMs as well and at present, Columbia has the largest number of bitcoin ATMs installed. A few weeks ago, Paxful joined forces with CoinLogiq to expand the network of bitcoin ATMs. Consequently, 20 new bitcoin ATMs will be installed in Columbia.

Venezuelan official currency bolivars depreciated to great extents and the country has been facing severe economic crisis. Under these circumstances, the bitcoin adoption is booming and a few months ago, bitcoin trading in the country reached a new high.

READ ALSO:As Traditional Markets Fumble, Bitcoin’s Time to Shine is Upon Us

Bitcoin was introduced to the world over a decade ago, after the economic recession of 2008. Since then, the world’s first cryptocurrency disrupted the financial system of the world. Unlike fiat currencies that are controlled by governments and central banks, bitcoin is the world’s truly decentralized digital currency. This means that the crypto is not under the influence of any centralized authority or organization. Unlike fiat currencies that can be manipulated by governments, bitcoin price is dependent only on the fundamentals of supply and demand.

Although bitcoin offers a variety of advantages over Petro, the Venezuelan president, Nicolas Maduro is focused on promoting nations own cryptocurrency, Petro. and previously, Maduro asked banks to support the initiative. Furthermore, he even ordered the Bank of Venezuela (Banco de Venezuela) to accept the national cryptocurrency.

In the past, U.S. put sanctions on Venezuela and prohibited all Americans from using Petro while making financial settlements. U.S authorities believed that Venezuela was trying to evade sanctions with Petro took therefore, they took necessary steps to null and void the crypto. However, as bitcoin do not belong to any country, company or organization, authorities were unable to take any similar steps against bitcoin. This shows that the state’s own crypto can’t compete with the world’s decentralized and largest cryptocurrency by market cap, bitcoin.

READ ALSO:France Exempts Crypto Tax But its Libra Assault Isn’t Slowing Down

Bitcoin’s decentralized trait makes it more favorable than Petro but the volatile nature of bitcoin can’t be ignored. Bitcoin has been struggling to evolve as a medium of exchange due to bitcoin price, since its inception. The digital asset climbing to its all-time high at one instant, has a rapport to drop down to the ground in a in a very short period of time. Therefore, one downside of bitcoin is its extremely unpredictable nature.

Developments in the crypto space are ongoing on a daily basis while also paving way for mass crypto adoption. Recently, a crypto ATM startup, Coinme secured $1.5 million investment for growth and expansion of its network of crypto ATMs. The concentration of bitcoin ATMs varies from country to country but the U.S. has about 2600 ATMs, whereas Venezuela recently managed its first. Let’s see if companies like Coinme can open more bitcoin ATMs in countries like Venezuela to ease crypto access.

READ ALSO:Bitcoin Price & Adoption is Gaining Strength – Geopolitics to Thank For

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How the World Is Becoming Pro-Crypto

When Satoshi Nakamoto released “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008, the world probably thought that the new digital currency …

When Satoshi Nakamoto released “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008, the world probably thought that the new digital currency would just be the next PayPal. But as we began to understand how it works and what it represents, it became clear that it is a serious existential threat to fiat money.

Fast forward to 2019. Fiat currency is still the standard, but cryptocoins are growing both in numbers and in influence.

According to Fortunly, the global cryptocurrency community was just 35 million strong as of December 2018. But crypto adoption is likely to explode in the near future.

Despite losing 85% of its value by the end of 2018, the cryptocurrency market considered the Bitcoin bubble popping as merely a bump in the road. There has actually been plenty of activity behind the crypto world’s veneer of dormancy since the crash.

Facebook announced its vision to launch its own blockchain-based payment network and stablecoin to get rid of the standard 2% to 3% merchant fees.

The number of Bitcoin ATMs keep increasing as well. As of the first half of 2019, 5,000 are found in 90 countries; over 50% of these machines are located in the United States. June was a hectic month, seeing six installations built per day.

Blockchain, as a concept, proved to be proof against financial bubbles. More than three-fourths of incumbent financial institutions will continue to adopt it by 2020. Over half of them have joined forces with fintech startups to accelerate the development of the technology and innovate much faster.

Much of the planet is already pro-crypto, and there is no turning back anymore. To learn more about how cryptocurrency is disrupting several industries, check out the infographic below!

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After Multiple False Starts, Venezuela May Have Its First Bitcoin ATM

The machine supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and DASH, as well as the official currency of Venezuela and …

According to data by Coin ATM Radar, Venezuela has finally gotten its very first Bitcoin ATM.

Multiple attempts to install Bitcoin ATM

Venezuela’s first crypto ATM was installed on Sept. 10, in the city of San Antonio del Táchira, according to data by Coin ATM Radar, a website that facilitates the online search for the nearest Bitcoin ATM.

Latin American firm Panda BTM installed the Bitcoin ATM inside a small convenience store, called Viajes e Inversiones HC. The machine supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and DASH, as well as the official currency of Venezuela and Colombian pesos.

Apparently there have been previous attempts to install a Bitcoin ATM in Venezuela. At the end of January, crypto firm Cryptobuyer announced the coming installation and testing of a new Bitcoin ATM in the city of Caracas. However, due to unknown reasons the ATM never went live.

Columbia has the largest number of crypto ATMs

Neighboring Columbia currently has the most crypto ATMs of any country in Latin America. That number is set to rise thanks to a partnership between the global peer-to-peer Bitcoin marketplace, Paxful, and Medellin-based blockchain company, CoinLogiq, who are bringing 20 new crypto ATMs to Colombia.

5400+ crypto ATMs installed worldwide

The world’s first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver, Canada in late 2013. Since that day, the total number of cryptocurrency ATMs around the globe has continued to increase.

According to statistics from Coin ATM Radar, the total number of crypto ATMs around the world went from 501 in 2016 to more than 5400 in 2019.

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Venezuela just got its first Bitcoin ATM

The ATM supports Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and DASH, as well as sovereign bolivars (the official currency of Venezuela) and Colombian …

After years of waiting, and despite a relatively high and impressive volume of Bitcoin trading, Venezuela has finally got its very first Bitcoin ATM.

According to the CoinATMRadar, the Latin American firm PandaBTM has installed a crypto ATM in San Antonio del Táchira. The machine is located inside a small convenience store, called Viajes e Inversiones HC (Travel and Investments HC), by the side of the main road towards Colombia.

The ATM supports Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and DASH, as well as sovereign bolivars (the official currency of Venezuela) and Colombian pesos. (Both fiat currencies are used interchangeably among residents of the Venezuelan-Colombian border.)

For a small town, San Antonio del Táchira is a very crowded place. It serves as a passageway for tourists, migrants and merchants who shop in Colombia to then resell whatever products they procure in Venezuela, and vice versa.

The crypto firm Cryptobuyer had previously announced its intention to place a Bitcoin ATM in Caracas as part of an expansion plan that included Venezuela and Colombia, but the initiative never materialized. (Though a machine was physically installed and tested, the ATM never went live.)

Before today, the closest Bitcoin ATM accessible to Venezuelans was located on the Colombian side of the border, even if it was just a short walk away for those living near enough to do so. The firm Athena purposely set up that crypto ATM right next to a Western Union. Nice move.

The use of foreign currencies is commonplace in Venezuela. But in all this fiat frenzy, and an economy in crisis, interest in Bitcoin in the region has grown.

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Colombia is currently the country with the most Bitcoin ATMs in Latin America and is close to doubling this number thanks to a partnership between Paxful and Coinlogiq to install more than 20 ATMs throughout the country.

Other efforts to expand the crypto ecosystem in Venezuela include a recent partnership between PundiX and Traki, Venezuela’s largest retail chain. The department store plans to install physical point-of-sale systems throughout its 49 locations across Venezuela to allow customers to pay in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

All in all, the launch of the Bitcoin ATM in San Antonio del Táchira is good news for its residents. They finally have an ATM that actually gives them cash.

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Cubans flock to cryptocurrency to skirt sanctions

Cubans like Sanchez are welcoming the growing use of cryptocurrencies on the communist run island – which in many ways remains stuck in the past.

Jason Sanchez owns a cell phone repair shop in Havana.

Last year he was able to start buying spare parts online- for the very first time- using Bitcoin…

Cubans like Sanchez are welcoming the growing use of cryptocurrencies on the communist run island – which in many ways remains stuck in the past.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OWNER OF MOBILE PHONE REPAIR SHOP WHO USES CRYPTOCURRENCY, JASON SANCHEZ, SAYING:

“For Cubans (mobile phones) have opened up doors that are normally shut. It’s removed internet censorship and with cryptocurrency there’s an end to restrictions on credit cards, on Mastercard, Visa, there is more freedom to buy in other markets.”

Cubans are also flocking to cryptocurrencies to skirt U.S. sanctions…

A decades-old U.S. trade embargo cuts Cubans off from international financial markets…

Residents of the island cannot obtain credit or debit cards for international use, making it a challenge for them to purchase their first installment of cryptocurrency.

Often the way around this is for the buyer to hand over cash and the bitcoin dealer to carry out the cryptocurrency transaction on a laptop or phone.

Others use local Cuban platforms like CubaCripto to trade digital currencies.

Alex Sobrino- who created the service estimates some 10,000 Cubans are using it.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FOUNDER OF CUBACRIPTO, ALEX SOBRINO, SAYING:

“We use cryptocurrencies to recharge phones, to make purchases on some websites that accept cryptocurrency. There are some guys who have told me that they have made hotel reservations and other things with cryptocurrency.

But cryptocurrency trading still falls in gray legal territory in Cuba.

(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FOUNDER OF CUBACRYPTO, ALEX SOBRINO, SAYING:

“What we’re afraid of is that the government will restrict us, prohibit certain things, and say that this is illicit.”

Others fear that the Cuban government may create a national cryptocurrency, following in the footsteps of other countries under U.S. sanctions like Venezuela and Iran….while banning other digital currencies.

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