Bitcoin

The first cryptocurrency ATM in Honduras opened this week as Bitcoin backers sought to spur demand for virtual assets after neighboring El Salvador became the first country to establish bitcoin as legal tender.

The machine, locally dubbed “la bitcoin,” allows users to acquire Bitcoin and Ethereum using the local lempira currency and was installed in an office tower in the capital of Tegucigalpa by Honduran firm TGU Consulting Group.

Juan Mayen, 28, chief executive of TGU, led the effort to bring the ATM to Honduras in hopes of educating people about virtual assets through the first-hand experience.

“You had to do it peer-to-peer, look for someone who … was willing to do it, meet in person and carry X amount of cash, which is very inconvenient and dangerous given the environment in Honduras,” he said.

On Friday, one Ethereum was trading at $3,237 (roughly Rs. 2.37 lakhs), and Bitcoin; $48,140 (roughly Rs. 35.38 lakhs). If the service is popular, Mayen said he hoped to install more units.

To make a purchase, users have to scan official identification and input personal data such as a phone number.

Many software developers in Honduras are already paid in cryptocurrencies, Mayen said, adding that it will also be a cheaper option to send remittances.

In 2020, Hondurans living abroad – mainly the United States – sent $5.7 billion (roughly Rs. 41,893 crores), about 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), in remittances.

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.

Elsewhere in the region, lawmakers presented draft bills in Panama that regulate the use of Bitcoin and its status as a legal tender.

Bitcoin price in India was around Rs. 37.74 lakhs and the price of Ethereum was around Rs. 2.5 lakhs on August 28.

By Alex Alena

Alex Alena has been the lead news writer at Cryptocurrency Updates. With a degree in communications, Matt has an uncanny ability to make the most complex subject matter easy to understand.