South Africa’s first cryptocurrency ATM, able to process Dash, Ethereum, Bitcoin and others, will open at Northwold Spar in Johannesburg by the end of the week.
“It is all awfully exciting,” says George Neophytou, Northwold Spar general manager, who leads the project to install the ATM.
Users will be able to buy cryptocurrencies at the ATM, and exchange cash for cryptocurrencies without a bank account.
“It will take away much the frustration of buying and selling cryptocurrency, and hopefully help make cryptocurrencies mainstream,” Neophytou says.
There are an estimated 3,000 Bitcoin ATM’s globally in 68 countries – including Zimbabwe and Djibouti in East Africa.
A similar cryptocurrency ATM, which was only able to process bitcoin payments, closed down in Midrand three years ago.
A cryptocurrency ATM costs anything between around R100,000 to R170,000.
Neophytou, a crypto-trader himself, says he got the idea for the South African cryptocurrency ATM while travelling in Europe.
“It’s a different world there,” explains Neophytou. “Walking around in the streets of Germany you see signs with ‘Bitcoins accepted there’.”
He says that they finalising “the T’s and C’s” before launching the cryptocurrency ATM.
The South African Revenue Service (Sars) does not officially regulate cryptocurrencies in South Africa, but profit from cryptocurrencies are still liable for tax.
“We are doing everything by the book, we don’t want anything to be done under the cover,” Neophytou says.
“If someone gets cryptocurrencies from this ATM, they must know that it is safe to use.”