The first Bitcoin ATM, locally called “La Bitcoinera”, allows users to get Bitcoin and Ethereum using the local currency Lempira, and was installed in an office tower in the capital Tegucigalpa by Honduran TGU Consulting Group.
The first cryptocurrency ATM opened in Honduras this week, as Bitcoin backers spur demand for virtual assets, after neighboring El Salvador became the first country to deem Bitcoin a legal tender.
TGU CEO Juan Mayen, 28, has led efforts to bring ATMs to Honduras in the hope of spreading a culture of virtual assets among citizens through first-hand experience. So far, he said, there is no automated way to buy cryptocurrencies.
“You had to do it with someone else directly by looking for someone … willing to do it, and meet them in person with some amount of cash, which is very inconvenient and dangerous given the environment in Honduras,” he said.
Today, Friday, Ethereum reached $3,237 and Bitcoin reached $48,140. If the service wins, Mayne said he hopes to install more units.
To make a purchase, the user has to scan the official identity and enter personal data such as a phone number.
Mayne said many software developers in Honduras are already getting paid in cryptocurrencies, adding that it would also be a less expensive option to send remittances.
In June, the Congress of El Salvador approved a proposal by President Neb Bukele to make the country the first in the world to adopt Bitcoin as a legal currency.
Elsewhere in the region, legislators in Panama have introduced bills regulating the use of bitcoin as legal tender.