Carlos López is 22 years old, Venezuelan and has been living in Bogotá, Colombia since 2019. The young immigrant earns his living by serving customers in a restaurant, but has been inactive for five weeks due to the coronavirus quarantine.
Carlos had no job and no way to generate new income. He had no choice but to take his savings in hand. They didn’t last long, and in the past week she only ate once a day to “stretch” her supplies.
In Venezuela, his father Felipe López is desperately looking for a way to send him 50,000 pesos ($ 12.5), but he can’t find the transfer formula. The situation is worse because Carlos lives alone, his documents are out of order and he has no bank account.
For a week, Felipe made dozens of calls to ask his friends who could help him send the money and give it to his son in cash. After such a long search, one person recommended the services of a Venezuelan who lives in the Colombian capital and is dedicated to processing transfers between the two countries. Without knowing her and at her own risk, Felipe contacted her to formalize the transfer, which he was able to send the next day.
The method was to transfer the equivalent of the 50,000 Colombian pesos in Bolivar to a bank account in Venezuela. After the payment was confirmed, the intermediary contacted Carlos to hand over the 50,000 pesos.
“It is difficult to find a way to send money from Venezuela to another country because of the economic situation, there is no official mechanism or private service that allows transfers to be sent. On the contrary, we are receiving transfers due to the crisis And there are official and Venezuelan alternatives abroad that act as intermediaries to send money to Venezuela, “said the father.
Bitcoin method for transfers
Felipe’s case is diametrically opposed to what happened to “Cristina”, a Venezuelan woman who is familiar with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, who had an emergency and had to send a transfer to her sister in Spain as soon as possible.
Cristina was on a walk in Chile when she received a call from her sister to request the transfer of the transfer, about 30 euros. Knowing the high commissions charged by services like PayPal or Western Union, The woman decided to use Bitcoin to deal with the emergency she was facingbut with one detail. Her sister knows nothing about Bitcoin or how to get a transfer in cryptocurrencies.
Putting the BTC in a personal cryptocurrency wallet and explaining how to manage it was not an option as he needed the euros in cash. The alternative was to find a Bitcoin ATM (BATM) that spent money this way. After a few minutes, his sister found one with these characteristics.
After Cristina explained, her sister generated a request to receive bitcoins at the ATM. The machine showed him an address on the screen to receive the money in the BATM itself. As soon as the address was created, the woman sent the data to her sister to process the transfer.
“Cristina” then used her green wallet on her mobile device to transfer the BTC to the ATM. In a few minutes, the machine received the bitcoins and the shipment was delivered in cash.
“It was a pretty quick process, everything was done in about 10 minutes and very easy. My sister didn’t have to open an account, submit credentials, or provide documents. It has to be taken into account that Bitcoin ATMs generally, when they issue cash, deliver small amounts that may depend on the country in which they are installed, “said Cristina.
In contrast to Felipe, who had to wait a week to find someone who could build a bridge with his son, the case of «Cristina» and Sending money transfers with Bitcoin ATMs has proven that this is a valid, quick and efficient method.
In fact, the Bitcoin ATM system continues to grow worldwide and startups are joining the industry to manufacture this type of device. As a reference for this impulse, we can quote the BATM figures that are in operation on a global level. In January this year there were 6,300 active units, a year earlier there were 4,100.
According to the CoinAtmRadar service, there were already 7,711 such ATMs worldwide on April 25, 2020, which speaks of the rapid expansion to meet the demand for services related to cryptocurrencies. In total, Bitcoin ATMs are sold in 72 countries with 42 active companies for their manufacture.
In Latin America there are already 210 BATMs with Spain at the top with 84 teams, followed by Colombia (58), the Dominican Republic (15), Panama (15), Mexico (11), Argentina (11) and Chile (4) others.
There are Bitcoin ATMs that don’t issue cash, others only get cash to buy certain cryptocurrencies with commissions that vary from manufacturer to manufacturer or from operator to operator. The recommendation is to always check the prices they charge for their services and not be surprised.
Felipe knows the story of “Cristina” and is already considering using Bitcoin as a method to send money to his son in Bogotá. This is a practical way to save commission payments, not to waste time on the street and to take care of his son in times of COVID-19.