Ecuador’s Cryptocurrency ATM Industry Won’t Grow Anytime Soon

Ecuador is a very interesting country when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Although the national government does not favor this innovative form of money, local entrepreneurs are ignoring its warnings whenever possible. In fact, there are now cryptocurrency ATMs in Ecuador, which is a pretty big development for the industry as a whole.

Bitcoin Continues to Thrive in Ecuador

No one will deny that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have made their mark on the financial sector. Although not everyone may be in favor of this new form of money, entrepreneurs all over the world are pretty confident this industry will only continue to attract the masses in the future. Making cryptocurrencies more accessible to the average person on the street, however, will not be easy whatsoever.

One way of making Bitcoin and select altcoins more accessible is by deploying cryptocurrency ATMs. While that concept makes a lot of sense in most parts of the world, the situation is very different in Ecuador. More specifically, the Ecuadorian government has no love lost for Bitcoin and other currencies, as it wants to ban this form of money altogether. All of those efforts have been in vain since 2014, though, as there is still no official ban on cryptocurrency in the country as of right now.

While it is true the government of Ecuador attempted to ban cryptocurrency a while ago, the central bank countered its effort earlier this year. According to the bank, buying and selling Bitcoin is not illegal, even though using it as a payment method for goods and services may prove to be a different matter altogether. Using Bitcoin for this purpose is risky, as it may lead to governmental scrutiny in the long run. Surprisingly, some of Ecuador’s Bitcoin entrepreneurs are not too concerned about these developments as of right now.

Instead, we saw the very first cryptocurrency ATMs pop up in Ecuador last month. This is a remarkable milestone for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. It is also worth noting that the ATM located in the capital city of Quito was built entirely in Ecuador. Two different models were unveiled recently, although they do not come cheap. One of these machines costs US$22,000, which may be a bit steep for most entrepreneurs in the country.

Even so, this venture is mainly designed to bring cryptocurrencies to the average consumer in a convenient manner. The ATMs exchange dollars for Bitcoin, Dash, and Pura, which is a rather interesting collection of currencies, to say the least. It is possible that more cryptocurrencies will be added in the future. As one would expect, both devices present users with digital wallets when they make their first purchase.

For the time being, these machines are not accessible to the general public, but that situation will change soon. They are merely an educational tool for now, as there are legal ramifications to using these machines as actual money conversion units. It is not surprising to learn the Ecuadorian central bank has already declared the machines to be illegal, although it remains to be seen how this situation will play out in the long run.