South America’s First Bitcoin ATM

January 20, 2014 20:56 UTC

São Paulo, a city in Brazil, is getting the first Bitcoin ATM in all of South America. The machine will be up and running at Campus Party, a 7-day global technology festival that has events such as lectures, hackathons, and more. The ATM is one of these sleek “Bitcoin Machines” designed by Portuguese company Lamassu.

Image from TechCrunch

Lamassu’s ATMs claim to convert fiat (regular cash) into Bitcoin within 15 seconds. They’re quite small (35.6cm width x 48.1cm height x 26.9cm depth) and they offer an easy-to-use interface. Furthermore, there are no licensing fees and the ATMs accept notes from over 200 countries.

However, the machine in São Paulo will be slightly different. It will only accept Brazilian Reais and there will be a 2.5% fee charged by Brazilian Bitcoin exchange Mercado Bitcoin, the company that purchased the ATM for roughly 11.5 BTC. Mercado Bitcoin’s chief executive told Brazilian newspaper O Estado de São Paulo,

“We hope that the machine will pay itself by the end of this year, but we still have no references around the number of transactions it will generate.”

The ATM in Campus Party won’t be the only one in all of São Paulo. Mercado Bitcoin plans to have another one near the city’s financial centres.

Brazil has the largest economy out of all the Latin American countries and the sixth largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP. Embracing Bitcoin, a currency that is constantly growing in popularity and value, should definitely help the country’s already fast-growing economy.

Last modified: October 6, 2014 10:18 UTC

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I enjoy keeping up with the latest stuff in science and technology and have been following Bitcoin for a few years now. I also occasionally post cool stuff on twitter.