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The First Cryptocurrency ATM Arrives in Honduras, Bringing Bitcoin Fever to the Central American Country

This week, the first cryptocurrency ATM opened in Honduras as proponents of the digital currency hoped to boost demand after neighbouring El Salvador became the first government to recognise bitcoin as legal cash.

La Bitcoinera

The local machine called “la bitcoinera” allows customers to purchase Bitcoin and Ethereum using the local lempira currency. Additionally, a Honduran business TGU Consulting Group placed it in an office tower in Tegucigalpa’s city.

Juan Mayen, TGU’s CEO, led the initiative to introduce the ATM to Honduras to educate people about virtual assets firsthand.

Until recently, he added, there was no automatic mechanism to purchase crypto-currencies.

The Process

Users must scan official identification and enter personal information such as a phone number to make a transaction.

According to Mayen, many software engineers in Honduras are paid in cryptocurrency, and sending remittances will be cheaper.

Bitcoin Gaining Traction

Moreover, Hondurans residing abroad, primarily in the United States, contributed $5.7 billion (approximately Rs. 41,893 crores) in remittances in 2020, accounting for nearly 20% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

El Salvador’s Congress accepted a proposal by President Nayib Bukele in June to make El Salvador the first country in the world to use Bitcoin as legal money.

Additionally, in other parts of the region, politicians in Panama have introduced draught legislation to control the usage of Bitcoin and its legal tender status.

Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. Crypto is not a legal tender and is subject to market risks. Readers are advised to seek expert advice and read offer document(s) along with related important literature on the subject carefully before making any kind of investment whatsoever. Crypto market predictions are speculative and any investment made shall be at the sole cost and risk of the readers.