Athena, a United States company, aims to supply El Salvador’s new crypto-based economy with 1500 Bitcoin ATMs, a representative of Athena confirmed. The process will start from supplying a few machines to forming the business model. Athena, a Chicago headquartered company, is also planning to install more cryptocurrency ATMs by investing $1 million. The firm is looking to establish its presence in places where residents get allowances from abroad.
Besides installing the new cryptocurrency ATMs, the company will also open an office in El Salvador and hire more people to carry out works. Currently, the company operates with just two cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador. The machines are installed at El Zonte beach and in El Tunco. The one that is at El Zonte beach is part of its “Bitcoin Beach” experiment.
Matias Goldenhörn, director for Latin America of Athena, said that the Nayib Bukele, Salvadorian President, has given us the daunting challenge of establishing 1500 ATMs, and we would strive to achieve it. He said they are a private firm, and we will strive to build trust in the country. The business model is going to be different from that in the United States. According to Coin ATM Radar, there are about 16,835 machines installed worldwide; compared to last year’s 7,152, around 10,000 more machines are installed this year. The United States continues to lead the list with 13,699 machines installed in the country.
Athena, on June 17, announced that it is planning to expand its wings in the country as the country’s lawmakers are looking to pass the bill to make Bitcoin legal tender. In a Twitter post, Athena tagged President Bukele. In the post, the President was asked if thousands of ATMs would be enough.
The World Bank declined to support the country’s plan of adopting Bitcoin because of Bitcoin’s environmental and transparency shortcomings. Moreover, opposition parties are also looking to file a lawsuit to scrap the new Bitcoin law.