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Bitcoin ATMs: the situation during the coronavirus

During these days of the Coronavirus emergency, one of the major crypto searches that can be found on tools like Google Trends includes bitcoin ATMs, i.e. automated teller machines that allow withdrawing or selling BTC and other cryptocurrencies.

The reasons for this increase in interest are probably attributable to 3 events.

A few weeks ago, the first Bitcoin ATM was installed in Nigeria, while at the end of February Litecoin partnered with Meconcash in South Korea to be supported by over 13,000 ATMs.

In the meantime, though, many Bitcoin ATMs in most parts of the globe are closing due to the coronavirus emergency.

Unlike banks, which are currently one of the guaranteed services for citizens and therefore one of the places open even during this pandemic, many of the places where bitcoin ATMs are installed are closed: very often they are located in shopping centres. 

In Germany, for example, 24 bitcoin ATMs have been closed and the same can be said for Italy.

Due to the health emergency situation, the Italian company Chainblock was also forced to block the purchase of bitcoin and crypto through ATMs.

For this reason, the service currently continues only through the online platforms devoted to purchasing through Chainblock Cards and Chainblock Bay bank transfers.

“The message that we would like to spread is to privilege the Italian market by purchasing only and exclusively through Italian platforms; for once we should encourage and support the Made in Italy also for what concerns a sector in which American and Chinese giants are normally taken more into consideration. In this crisis situation each of us can and must act in the interest of Italy,” said Chainblock CEO Federico Pecoraro.

Chainblock currently operates 12 ATMs in Italy and are the first in the country to support the DAI stablecoin.

Amelia Tomasicchio
Amelia Tomasicchiohttps://cryptonomist.ch
As expert in digital marketing, Amelia began working in the fintech sector in 2014 after writing her thesis on Bitcoin technology. Previously author for several international crypto-related magazines and CMO at Eidoo. She is now the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Cryptonomist, and also PR manager for the Italian market at Bitget. She is also a marketing teacher at Digital Coach in Milan and she published a book about NFTs for the Italian publishing house Mondadori, while she is also helping artists and company to entering in the sector. As advisor, Amelia is also involved in metaverse-related project such as The Nemesis and OVER.