The US company Athena intends to supply El Salvador’s new crypto-based economy with 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs, a company representative confirmed.
The implementation will start small, testing a few dozen machines to establish a business model. The Chicago-based firm plans to invest more than $ 1 million to install cryptocurrency ATMs, targeting regions where residents receive remittances from abroad.
In addition to installing the new machines, it will also hire staff and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.
Athena currently operates only two such ATMs in El Salvador, one on El Zonte beach as part of an experiment called “Bitcoin Beach” aimed at making the city one of the world’s first crypto economies, and the other in El Tunco, according to CNN.
Athena Latin America director Matias Goldenhörn told . that Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele “presented us with a tough challenge of 1,500 ATMs, we will go through that, but in phases. We are a private company and we want to make sure that our development in the country is sustainable ”.
On June 17, Athena posted about her plans to expand in the country in the wake of lawmakers passing a bill to convert Bitcoin into legal tender. The company tagged President Bukele asking if a thousand machines would be enough. He replied that he had set his target on a larger figure.
1,000? How about 1500? #BTC ♻️ https://t.co/PDApT7M7T5
– Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) June 16, 2021
Goldenhörn stated that the business model is likely to be different from that of the US, which currently has a total of 19,325 BTC ATMs according to Coinatmradar.
“Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, (we will test) what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different from that of the United States,” he added.
Related: Athena Bitcoin installs the first Bitcoin ATM that operates with dollars in Argentina
El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption plan has already seen pushback from the World Bank, which refused to assist the country in its transition, citing “transparency and environmental deficiencies” associated with the digital asset.
On June 22, Cointelegraph reported that an opposition political party filed a lawsuit claiming that the new Bitcoin law could be unconstitutional and damaging to the country.