To most Western countries, Bitcoin ATMs have become rather common. In Africa and other regions where financial inclusion is still problematic, things are very different. Even so, things are gradually improving as we speak. Zimbabwe now has its very first Bitcoin ATM courtesy of Golix.
It is quite interesting to see how Zimbabwe responds to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Given the region’s lack of financial inclusion, one would expect Bitcoin to genuinely thrive in this part of the world. It is still too early to determine if that will effectively be the case, though. For now, things are slowly improving, which can only be considered to be a good thing.
A Bold Move by Golix
With Golix bringing the first Bitcoin ATM to this country, the future looks pretty bright. It is a welcome change in the country. Golix is also the biggest cryptocurrency exchange active in this part of Africa. The ATM itself presents users with access to both Bitcoin and United States Dollars. Both forms of currency are in high demand in Zimbabwe as of right now.
Golix product manager Yeukai Kusangaya comments on the situation:
“After realising that the public is still struggling to understand or in some cases access bitcoin, we felt that the Bitcoin ATM would be a huge and necessary step towards engaging people on how they can use cryptocurrencies for their daily business. For anyone who has used a traditional ATM, they won’t struggle to find their steps when they are using the Bitcoin ATM.”
The machine has been in operation since late last week. Anyone can buy or sell Bitcoin using the US Dollar, which makes for an interesting ecosystem. It is also the only ATM in ZImbabwe dispensing US dollars to Bitcoin holders. Whether or not other companies will effectively pursue a similar option, remains to be determined. It seems this market is ripe for the taking, but gaining a foothold will be challenging.
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