US-based Athena Bitcoin has announced its plan to install nearly 1500 bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador, as the Central American country recently made bitcoin a legal tender in the country. The Chicago-headquartered company plans to invest $1 million for deploying bitcoin ATMs in the region, media reports said.
Currently, Athena Bitcoin operates only 2 ATMs in El Salvador. While the first one is located at El Zonte beach, the second one is at El Tunco. It also plans to add to its workforce and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.
Athena’s director for Latin America, Matias Goldenhörn told the media, “Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, (we’ll) test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States.”
El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele recently announced the country’s plan to make bitcoin a legal tender in the country. Not only that, Bukele has now attached incentives for those dealing in bitcoin in the country, contrary to crypto restrictions in other parts of the world. He said that bitcoin has a market cap of $680 billion dollars and if even 1 percent of it is invested in El Salvador, that would increase its GDP by 25 percent.
He tweeted, “No capital gains tax on bitcoin since it will be a legal tender. Immediate permanent residence for crypto entrepreneurs. We hope that this decision (to make Bitcoin as legal tender) will be just the beginning in providing a space where some of the leading innovators can reimagine the future of finance, potentially helping billions around the world.”