MEXICO CITY.- This week the first ATM in Mexico City was inaugurated. cryptocurrencies in Honduras.
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, Bitcóin and Ethereum, with lempiras, the local currency, and is managed by TGU Consulting Group, from 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 cryptocurrencys, “he said in a telephone interview with Reuters.
“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 added.
One Ethereum was trading at $ 3,237 on Friday and 1 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.
Recently, two draft bills were introduced in the Congress of Panama. One of them seeks to regulate the use of Bitcoin in the isthmus and to consider the cryptocurrency as a legal tender.
This week, the president of the Bitcóin Foundation and pioneer of cryptocurrencies, Brock Pierce, met with the president of Honduras, Juan Orlando Hernández, and then arrived in Panama to talk with officials of the government of President Laurentino Cortizo and present in a forum about Bitcóin.
“We see a lot of potential to start businesses here in Panama,” said Pierce, who was in El Salvador in June to meet with officials. “Legislators and regulators have the facility to pass the laws necessary to … attract market and innovative companies here.”