A Bitcoin ATM has just been set up in Gaborone, Botswana by Express Minds Ltd which increases the number of machines on the continent to ten. The BATM will allow users in the country to buy Bitcoin by scanning a QR code for their wallet address, insert money in the machine and get the crypto equivalent automatically assigned to their wallets.
The tech firm has said that they expect the new machine to give people a reason to adopt cryptocurrency. There is a general consensus that getting involved with cryptocurrency is a complicated process which puts a lot of people off Bitcoin. Transacting without human mediation may also be attractive to customers when you consider that some exchanges have picked up dubious reputations while individual partners can’t always be relied on to be in good faith.
The director with Express Minds, Goabaone Brose Watlala said that the BATM can only handle a daily transactions limit of BWP50,000 at the moment, processes user information intuitively. Speaking on the installation of the BATM, Watlala said, “we have been working tirelessly to make it easier for Batswana [people of Botswana] to buy cryptocurrencies and now we are bringing simplicity, convenience and trust to the cryptocurrency purchasing experience.” He also added, “this one way machine is still the easiest, fastest and safest way to buy bitcoin.”
There is no known cryptocurrency exchange in the country. In fact, until now, the only way for Batswana to buy crypto was through exchanges located outside of the African nation. At some point, consumers were making journeys to cross the border just to get their hands on the leading cryptocurrency.
As of yet, it isn’t known for how long the BATM will be in place seen as Botswana doesn't have any specific regulations on cryptocurrency or the operation of a Bitcoin ATM. Zimbabwe’s Golix-operated machine went out of use after the government banned digital currencies last year.
Africa doesn’t seem to be big on these machines. South Africa has five of the nine BATMs with Uganda, Djibouti, Zimbabwe and Kenya finishing off the tally. Despite this, Botswana startup is optimistic about the improved crypto adoption, especially since the story of BATMs in Africa not being an encouraging one.