Argentina keeps Bitcoin ATMs operating despite quarantine

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Important facts:
  • The ATMs, which are still in operation, are in shops selling basic groceries.

  • ATMs are disinfected daily. Users are advised to wash their hands after use.

Mandatory quarantine has been in effect across Argentina since March 20 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the country. The new measures prohibit gatherings of people, impose a new route control and suspend the working day until further notice. This creates a new panorama of desolate cities and collective panic that also affects Argentina-based cryptocurrency companies.

Athena Bitcoin, a manufacturer of cryptocurrency ATMs, had to adapt its quarantined work schedule to the new commercial reality. Dante Galeazzi, Country Manager in Argentina, points this out The coronavirus epidemic in the country has affected them like other companies with a decline in sales.

According to Coin ATM Radar data, the company has more than 10 ATMs across the country. However, in recent days, some of his machines have stopped working because they were installed in quarantined premises. For this reason, they no longer process the same number of transactions with cryptocurrencies and fiat money as in the previous months.

To avoid your users having no way to buy or sell their bitcoins, The company has decided to maintain seven ATMs in the cities of Buenos Aires and La Plata. The vast majority of these ATMs are installed in Walmart stores so customers can make their weekly purchases and, in turn, check the ATM.

“The ATMs that are still open are Walmart Constituyentes (CABA), Avellaneda, San Fernando, Pilar and Cordoba, Euskal Herria Plaza (Pacheco) and Espacio Weiaut in La Plata,” said Galeazzi. However, it is also recommended to follow their social networks, e.g. Official Twitter of the company to keep up with the status of ATMs.

Hold on in the middle of the pandemic

The Athena Bitcoin Board has decided that the corona virus will not force cryptocurrency ATMs out of the market, but will open new opportunities for Argentine citizens to access new monetary alternatives such as Bitcoin. “We believe it is important that citizens do not lose their rights and can continue to buy / sell Bitcoin,” said Dante Galeazzi.

Bitcoin ATMs are kept in key facilities. Image: athenabitcoin.com

Make sure the service is as secure as possible. Athena Bitcoin contacted the owners of the premises to have the machines disinfected once a day. Like cash and credit / debit cards, ATMs can be a means of infecting the corona virus. Any surface that is used by a large number of people daily can contain the virus and if the person can become infected if they do not comply with the minimum hygiene measures.

We recommend responsible handling (with ATMs) on our social networks. Wash your hands before and after use. The premises have bathrooms in which the customer can do this.

Dante Galeazzi, Country Manager Athena Bitcoin Argentina.

The company believes the ATMs will remain active throughout the quarantine as they are located in stores selling basic groceries. However, Athena Bitcoin is also working on developing a new service that will meet the demand for cryptocurrency and reduce the risk of infection. In order to do this, They are developing a new system that allows customers to buy bitcoins without having to leave home, because all exchanges are made by bank transfer and internet.

Bitcoin is an ally in the era of the corona virus

Dante Galeazzi believes Bitcoin can be a support for families in the current health crisis that we are experiencing worldwide. The country manager notes that Bitcoin is an alternative to sending transfersA practice that can solve the precarious economic situation of family members who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic or who have no money to cover the costs of quarantine.

Galeazzi points out that, in a particular case, Argentina can also become a value-adding asset for companies that are still active. Last year, a stock exchange in Argentina to limit the commercialization of dollars was decided, which further aggravated the country’s current economic situation when the Argentine peso continued to depreciate.

In this context, Bitcoin emerged as a possible channel for access to dollars or an uncontrolled monetary system. Trading in cryptocurrencies has flourished thanks to this situation and could be tightened further if we take into account that the current quarantine has tightened control over the dollar in Argentina.

For this reason Galeazzi believes Bitcoin merchants can continue to offer this protection serviceThose who survive the commercial stagnation that the corona virus has created:

The advantage of traders who accept Bitcoin during this period of great uncertainty enables them to dollarize their income and do not have to be in pesos, as the Argentine peso is still losing value today.

Dante Galeazzi, Country Manager Athena Bitcoin Argentina.

Amid the adversity caused by the pandemic, Athena Bitcoin Argentina continues to try to provide its customers with new tools for selling and buying cryptocurrencies. For example, they have successfully expanded inland by installing a new ATM in the capital, Córdoba. The company believes that the cryptocurrency ecosystem in Argentina needs more and better services to meet demand. Therefore, they continue to strive to install more machines in other parts of the area.

Athena Bitcoin predicts that 13 more ATMs will be installed in Argentina by the end of 2020The offering includes a total of 25 Bitcoin ATMs across the country. After the quarantine, these ATMs will be installed in the most populous provinces. “We are waiting for quarantine and foreign trade to be eased to move forward on this issue,” he concluded.

But it’s not just the Argentine cryptocurrency ATM market that is growing rapidly. The reality is that this sector is becoming increasingly productive and will start with more than 6,300 machines worldwide by 2020. Most are in the United States and Canada, though Latin America, with over 100 active ATMs this year, is not far behind.



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