1600 Bitcoin ATMs to save Argentina from 30% inflation
Argentina is staring into the barrel of an economic crisis once again. The country’s currency is sliding. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is supposed to provide an emergency loan. And that is a very controversial move, especially so in Argentina, because the country’s population criticized the IMF for the past crisis in 2001. Moreover, Argentina has already had its first IMF programme 60 years ago. In the three months after announcing a $50 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) stabilization program in June 2018, the Argentine peso has lost another third of its value.
The loss of trust among international investors shows concerns about whether the administration can meet all its debt reparations and borrow the new money it wants to finance its spending. And on top of that inflation and interests level are skyrocketing. The most recent figure is around 30%. That is one of the highest in the world. Interest rates have been increased sharply by the central bank to stabilize the Peso and bring inflation under control. That is painfully high for consumers and businesses that want or need to borrow.
No country’s economy would be able to resist the combination of 60% interest rates and resumed budget belt-tightening without dropping to a severe economic recession.
The economic crisis in Argentina is encouraging investors to purchase Bitcoin to protect their wealth. In parallel, to satisfy the increasing demand, on September 19, 2018, the first of 12 Bitcoin ATMs were earlier set up to operate in a Buenos Aires mall by Athena Bitcoin, a U.S. firm that specializes in cryptocurrency ATMs. Athena’s machines will originally support only Bitcoin, but will ultimately include other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash
The Central Bank has already reduced regulations regarding ATMs in the country. This easing of rules has helped the installation of ATMs processing digital currencies.
Different company, the U.S.-based Odyssey Group, said 80% of the 150 ATMs it tries to install in Argentina by the end of 2018, will be using bitcoins within the first months of 2019
Unlike Athena Bitcoin machines, which only enable customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, Odyssey Group ATMs will be able to perform traditional bank actions including cash withdrawing and depositing and capital transferring between accounts.
Octagon, a firm owned by Odyssey Group that will process the transactions in Argentina, said it expects to have placed about 1,600 bitcoin-enabled ATMs for Odyssey nation-wide in a year from now.
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