Bitcoin ATM operator Athena Bitcoin has unveiled its plan to install 1,500 bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. Initially, the company will install dozens of machines as a test. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele wants 1,500 bitcoin ATMs installed and Athena Bitcoin said, “we will go for that, but in phases.”
Athena Bitcoin said Thursday that it plans to invest over $1 million to install cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador, particularly where residents receive remittances from abroad, Reuters reported, citing a company representative.
The firm expects to gradually install about 1,500 ATMs, hire staff and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.
Matias Goldenhörn, Athena Bitcoin’s director for Latin America, was quoted by the publication as saying that El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele “presented us with a tough challenge of 1,500 ATMs, we will go for that, but in phases.”
“We are a private company and we want to ensure that our development in the country is sustainable,” Goldenhörn added, elaborating:
Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States.
Athena Bitcoin installed its first cryptocurrency ATM in El Salvador’s El Zonte beach about a year ago. It was part of an experiment called Bitcoin Beach with the aim to make the town one of the world’s first bitcoin economies.
El Salvador passed a bill making bitcoin legal tender earlier this month. The law will go into effect on Sept. 7. President Bukele unveiled the country’s official wallet application and a bitcoin giveaway Thursday.
This week, Bitcoin ATM provider Chainbytes also said it plans to install bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company is setting up a manufacturing hub in the country.