Athena To Install 1500 Bitcoin ATMs In El Salvador

Athena Bitcoin, the operator of bitcoin ATMs in the USA, plans to invest over 1 million dollars in installing cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador. They are planning to establish 1500 new bitcoin ATMs across the country. The bitcoin law will take effect on 7 September, and they are planning to establish this before that. One million dollars that the company is spending will also be used to open a new office and hire additional staff for this process.

On the 8th of June 2021, the El Salvador legislature passed a bill which was proposed by president Nayib Bukele making bitcoin legal tender and became the first country in the world to do so with the US dollar. But yes, the government is not going to make the order of giving salaries in bitcoins. They have made it legal but not compulsory for the organizations to pay salaries in bitcoins.

 So this set up of 1500 bitcoin ATMs is following up that decision made by the government. So this setting up of bitcoin ATMs will help people interact with the crypto world. This will particularly help those who are not that familiar with the crypto world.

Projected Reach Of The ATMs

Matias Goldenhorn, Athena’s director for Latin America, said: “If adoption gets traction, 1500 ATMs is one among every 4000 people and in the US we used to do one among every 150,000 people and then one is every 100,00 but here could be even more.”

Goldenhorn said the president has given them this responsibility and given them a tough challenge to set up these ATMs and that they will surely do that but will do it in phases. He added: “We are a private company, and we want to ensure that our development in the country is sustainable.”

Athena installed its 1st bitcoin atm in El Salvador about a year ago at El Zonte beach, which is approx 30 miles away from the capital San Salvador, which was the part of an experiment called Bitcoin Beach, which was aimed at making the town one of the world’s first bitcoin economy.

El Zonte beach. Photo by Oswaldo Martinez on Unsplash

El Salvador is a pretty small country, so this task of setting ATMs will not be that difficult as it sounds when you hear about setting up 1500 ATMs.

El Salvador’s area measures only 21 square kilometers. So setting up 1500 ATMs in such a small area would mean these ATMs will only reach about 10 minutes for the people in the country.

But this setting up of ATM will be done in phases. Athena will start setting up ATMs first from the locations where people have knowledge about the cryptocurrency and then spread it across the country.

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