With the eye-watering price surge in Bitcoin and the world joining in the cryptocurrency wave, Africa is no longer behind the league. Little knowledge and few resources limited the African subcontinent’s investment in Bitcoin for a long time.
However, the recent installation of the 10th Bitcoin Automated Teller Machine in Gaborone, Botswana has raised the bars of the cryptocurrency market in Africa. Users can now purchase Bitcoin from the machine by merely scanning a QR code of their wallet address, feeding money into the machine and getting the equivalent of cryptocurrency into their wallets.
With no known cryptocurrency exchange in the Southern African nation, it had been quite difficult for people to purchase Bitcoin. Customers even went to the extent of crossing borders to buy them.
The Director of Express Minds Ltd., the company that installed the ATM, has been quoted as saying “We have been working tirelessly to make it easier for (the 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 has a maximum daily transaction limit of BWP50,000, i.e., $5000. Keeping in mind the African cryptocurrency market this machine is curated to be the fastest, safest and easiest way to buy bitcoin in the country.
Risks from the lack of Regulation
As there is no specific regulation on cryptocurrency or the operation of BATMs, it is hard to figure out the longevity of the machine. Moreover, since virtual money, like cryptocurrency, is not a very popular technological phenomenon in Botswana, company staffers have been personally instructing interested individuals on how to use the technology.
Since Africa is still trying to popularize the use of Bitcoin, the high transaction fees ranging from 8-14% can also discourage users.
Impact on the African Nation
On one side, the BATM opens new doors for users, and on the other, it makes it difficult for them to use with the high transaction fees. Nevertheless, the lack of current options still makes it a promising opportunity.
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