Four-month old Bitcoin startup Bitchain has installed the first 2-way Bitcoin ATM in Athens, Greece. The ATM has been installed at a Greek co-working space TheCube in the light of the recent liquidity crisis.
The ATM will facilitate Bitcoin to Euro and vice-versa conversions in order to help the citizens of the cash-strapped nation. The ATM has a daily withdrawal limit of €1,000, which exceeds the daily ATM withdrawal limit of €60 in Greece by €940.
Bitchain employee Adrian Verde said, “The banks are withholding the people’s own money and a bitcoin ATM could help in such a situation.”
Joaquin Fenoy, Bitchain’s Chief Technological Officer said, “It’s very good for people in the Third World, who are now dependent on Western Union and services like that. Someone in one part of the world could put in money, and a family member could take it out in Africa, for example. That is one of the objectives: remittances.”
Bitchain ATMs generally charge a 4% transaction fee, however, the ATM in Athens will be an exception to this rule. There will be no fees charged and the Bitcoin price will be taken directly from Kraken.
More ATMs Coming
The Spanish startup has set itself an ambitious target of installing 40 ATMs worldwide by 2015 end. The company sees tremendous potential in financially crippled nations such as Argentina and Venezuela.
Apart from Greece, other European nations witnessing an inclination towards Bitcoin are Spain, Portugal, Italy as the masses become more concerned about the fate of their funds. Michael Casey, Senior Advisor at MIT Media Lab’ Digital Currency Initiative said:
“The suspicion is Spanish, Portuguese, Italians and others worried about going down this route are buying speculation.” He adds that “You buy a Bitcoin now because you think sometime in the future you’ll have your banks shut and your currency reintroduced. Gold was the old hedge against this sort of thing. Bitcoin is the new one.”