Local Company Installs The First-Ever Bitcoin ATM In Botswana

Bitcoin.
Bitcoin is currently the largest digital currency that has taken over the world by storm. (Photo: Reuters )

Express Minds Ltd., a crypto-based company, recently set up a Bitcoin automated teller machine (BATM) in Botswana's capital, Gaborone. By doing so, the company effectively increased the number of BATM machines on the continent up to 10.

The aforementioned machine, which allows for fiat-to-crypto exchanges, lets the users purchase Bitcoins by way of scanning a QR code that unlocks their wallet address. This then feeds money into the machine and gets the Bitcoin equivalent of the money they spent.

The Modern ATM

Placed in a large mall located in the center of the city, the company expects the machine to steadily increase the cryptocurrency uptake of the city, hoping to incentivize it. This is because the supposed complexity of the process surrounding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, in general, may be turning off some potential customers. Furthermore, transactions without the aid of humans can also be deemed as attractive to some customers, given the numerous incidents of shady transactions that have gone wrong.

According to Express Minds Director Brose Watlala, the BATM processes transactions and user information intuitively. Per Watlala, "We have been working tirelessly to make it easier for Batswana [people of Botswana] to buy cryptocurrencies and now we are bringing simplicity, convenience, and trust to the cryptocurrency purchasing experience."

According to him, the machine, which has a maximum daily transaction limit of around $5,000, is the fastest, easiest, and safest way to buy Bitcoin at the present. And seeing as there's no other cryptocurrency exchange in the South African nation, the country can definitely benefit from the technology. That's because before the BATM machines were installed, the only way for people residing in Botswana to purchase crypto was through exchanges that are well outside of the country. There are also some who even go as far as to cross the border just to purchase Bitcoin.

The grey area

Of course, as of this moment, there's still no clear regulation surrounding the legality of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general in Botswana. This means that it's not entirely clear how long the new machine will last. In fact, when crypto was banned last year, Zimbabwe's Golix-operated machine was put out of use.

At the moment, however, Express Minds is using their new BATM to help educate more people about Bitcoin the cryptocurrency space in general, which can help the country progress as far as these technologies are concerned.

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