Argentina is reportedly set to end this year with eight new cryptocurrency ATMs – often known as BTMs – as companies have been investing in the country over the growing popularity of cryptos in the country.
According to local news outlet CriptoNoticias, a company called Athena Bitcoin has already installed seven machines in the country’s capital Buenos Aires inside of shopping centers and near major retailers like Walmart to reach a wide audience.
The company is reportedly planning on installing an eighth machine in the country before the end of the year, helping Argentina become one of the Latin American countries with the highest number of active BTMs, behind Colombia, Mexico, and Panama.
The local news outlet spoke with Santiago Molins, director of IT and innovation at Athena Bitcoin, who revealed the firm plans on installing three new machines in the country in January of next year. Molins was quoted as saying:
The idea is to put in the first and second week of January the last ones that we have left in the laboratory, which would be two or three more. At this moment we are covering Federal Capital, Buenos Aires and its surroundings.
The machines the company installed, according to Molins, let users instantly get the BTC they buy from it without waiting for confirmations on the cryptocurrency’s blockchain. Although 0-confirmation transactions are often seen as a risky, he claimed the firm’s “methodology is viable, beyond the risk of possible double spending.”
While he admitted Athena Bitcoin doesn’t have an expansion plan for 2019, he noted the Argentine community has reacted well to the implementation of BTMs in the country. Per his words, it has been getting new users “as the economic situation [of Argentina] becomes more complicated.” Molins noted users aren’t rushing to buy crypto, but that they are testing its operations.
He further pointed to the Argentine Peso’s performance against the US dollar in the last few years to back up his statements. Argentina’s trading volume on peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins has been growing over its rising inflation.
As for the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s year-long bear market, Molins noted it affects BTM usage, as when the market is down volumes go down, and when it’s up volumes go up. Nevertheless the number of crypto ATMs has doubled to 4,000 this year.