El Salvador plans to be the second country with more bitcoin ATMs in the world

Key facts:
  • The company Athena Bitcoin will work in a first phase of setting up an ATM in each department.

  • With the first stage, the Central American country would be among the Latin nations with more teams.

Bitcoin’s ATM operator, Athena, will assume the installation of 1,500 new equipment in El Salvador, where there are barely 3 of them. The company has not yet calculated how long it will complete the assembly of the total of the machines, but when it does, the small Central American nation will be included in the ranking of countries with more cryptoassets in the world.

“The time will depend on the speed and dynamism with which the people of El Salvador adopt bitcoin. This Bitcoin Law thing is something new in the history of the world, so we have to see and adjust the expansion according to how quickly people need those ATMs,” said Athena’s director for Latin America, Matias Goldenhorn, when CriptoNoticias asked him how long the company estimates that at least 1,000 new equipment can be installed.

Athena Bitcoin’s initial plan is place an ATM in each of the 14 departments of El Salvador for which the company estimates to invest more than 1 million dollars. As part of this initial plan that emerged after the enactment of the Bitcoin Law, the first of these computers was installed on Thursday, June 24 in the La Gran Vía shopping center of the Old municipality Cuscatlán, belonging to the department of La Libertad in San Salvador.

The Minister of Economy, María Luisa Hayem, from El Salvador, together with Athena representatives during the installation of the bitcoin ATM in the La Gran Via shopping center. Source: Twitter.

In February last year Athena installed its first team in Salvadoran territory. As reported by this media at that time, the ATM is located in the Cocoa Café of Playa El Zonte. There is also a third in Playa El Tunco that belongs to another operator, both in the department of La Libertad.

El Salvador would have more bitcoin ATMs than Canada

Although there is no timeline regarding when there will be 1,500 bitcoin ATMs in the country, achieving this, El Salvador would be competing with Canada which currently has has 1,379 ATM. It is only surpassed by the United States where there are more than 16,000 computers, according to the ranking of countries with more BTC atms in the world, prepared by the pollster Statista.

However, upon completing the first phase of 14 bitcoin ATMs installed, El Salvador it will be among the countries in Latin America with the highest average of these teams over their territory. This considering that, currently, there are 28 in Colombia, 18 in Panama and 16 in the Dominican Republic.

In any case, with a territory of just 21,040 Km2 and a population of approximately 7 million people, the Central American nation would be among the smallest countries in the world that would have the most bitcoin ATM coverage. This if the 1500 ATMs for the whole country are realized, as is in the plans of President Nayib Bukele. As Goldenhorn commented, then the country would have a reach of less than 4,000 people per device.

Other companies would also be working on setting up more bitcoin ATMs in the country. One of them is ChainBytes, which manifested on Twitter he would be working on prototypes for El Salvador, but his concrete plans are little known since the company still does not respond to a request for comment sent by CriptoNoticias.

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