Argentina: First bitcoin ATM opens as economic crisis bites

Argentina’s first bitcoin ATM was installed last month in a mall in Buenos Aires, allowing visitors to buy and sell bitcoin, as footage filmed on Thursday shows.

Argentina has been struggling economically with the Argentine peso losing half of its value since the start of the year and an inflation rate predicted to reach 40 percent. In September the Argentine government secured a record-breaking €49 billion ($57 bn) rescue package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but it is still reportedly facing a deep and prolonged recession.

Against this uncertain economic backdrop more people are turning to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin for financial security. Santiago Molins, the Head of Technology and Innovation at Athena Bitcoin Argentina, said that “in the face of the crisis, people look for alternatives to be able to get ahead and Bitcoin is one of the answers.”

Bitcoin is a digital currency which is not controlled by any particular bank or central administrator, and one bitcoin is currently equivalent to €5338 ($6190).

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