Residents of Johannesburg, South Africa will have the ability to purchase bitcoin with cash come this weekend, with the launch of one of Africa’s (if not the first) bitcoin ATMs.
As you may be aware, the continent of Africa is severely underbanked (with an estimated 135 million people not banked at all), and many in the bitcoin community have argued that bitcoin’s presence in Africa could very well have a positive impact on the population.
The machine is manufactured by Lamassu, and will serve as more of a vending machine than an ATM in that bitcoin-to-cash functionality is not included.
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The device will be accessible to Johannesburg locals at the Metroman Men’s Salon, which is just adjacent to the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit race track. The device can be used any time after 9 AM local time.
Lamassu’s business operation continues to grow with a network of over 250 machines sold in its first year of operation. These machines are operating in 45 different countries, amazingly enough.
Lamassu has recently spiced up their offerings by recently releasing open source software to the operating network of machines, which will allow developers to build custom apps for the platform. In addition, the company also released a stand for their product in the past few months which will enable two-way functionality. That is, allowing consumers to both buy and sell bitcoin.