Honduras debuted its first cryptocurrency ATM this week, amid a fever that is beginning to break out in Central America for virtual assets in the wake of Bitcoin’s upcoming debut as legal tender in El Salvador.
In an exclusive business tower in the capital Tegucigalpa is located «la bitcoinera», an ATM that since Tuesday allows you to acquire the most used cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, with lempiras, the local currency, and is managed by TGU Consulting Group, by Honduran Juan Mayén
The 28-year-old, who returned to his country in 2019 after studying in the United States, said he hopes that the ATM startup can meet the growing demand for cryptocurrencies in the country and help educate Hondurans. about crypto assets.
“There was no automated way to buy cryptocurrencies. If you wanted, you had to do it peer-to-peer (person to person), look for someone who had, who was willing to do it, meet in person and carry x amount of cash, something very inconvenient and dangerous with the environment in Honduras, “he said in a telephone interview with the Reuter news agency.
An Ethereum was trading at $ 3,237 on Friday and a Bitcoin was at $ 48,140.
At the moment, in “la bitcoinera” you can only buy cryptocurrencies. In the future, Mayén said, it will also be possible to sell them and, according to the reception, they will install more units in the coming months.
The cashier has KYC diligence measures (know your customer): it requires scanning an official identification, and completing security data such as a telephone number, in addition, the purchase limit is 9,000 lempiras (about $ 380).
Mayén said that in Honduras many software developers are paid with cryptocurrencies, so the ATM will be very helpful when Bitcoins or Ethereum can be sold.
In addition, it will be a cheaper option to send remittances. In 2020, Hondurans living in other countries – mainly the United States – sent their relatives back home more than 5.7 billion dollars, about 20% of the country’s GDP.
The fever for cryptocurrencies has increased in recent months in Central America after the Congress of El Salvador approved in June a proposal by President Nayib Bukele to make the country the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.