A partnership with the banking startup Hal-Cash allows bitcoin companies BTCPoint and ChipChap to provide bitcoin functionality through Polish ATMs.

ChipChap, a company based in a village in Spanish Valencia, has announced on Reddit that it is enabling the quick conversion of bitcoins into cash in 10,000 Spanish and 4,000 Polish ATMs. The announcement goes on to say that

ChipChap becomes the biggest network on the planet to Cryptocurrency and the reference processor about payment methods using Cryptocurrencies” and that it intends to “eliminate the wall of banking regulation, adapting to each country” but still following local anti-money laundering standards. No fees will be charged. Both Spanish and Polish Redditors approved of the post, with some saying that they had “spent years waiting for this service”.

The service has become possible thanks to a new partnership with the banking startup Hal-Cash and local banks: Banc Sabadell in Spain and, apparently, Euronet and BZ WBK in Poland. To withdraw cash, a bitcoin user needs to send the corresponding sum in bitcoins to a special app, which sends them a PIN code and shows available ATMs nearby. According to the Hal-Cash website, they are located all over Poland. No bank account or credit card is required to convert bitcoins to cash.

ChipChap is not the first Spanish bitcoin startup to enter into a partnership with Hal-Cash. CoinFox already wrote about similar agreements that were reached in January with Bit2Me and in March with BTCPoint. Bit2Me initially charged a 1% fee for transaction while BTCPoint offered its services for free. However, faced with the competition, Bit2Me also cancelled the transaction fees.

While ChipChap’s announcement has made some headlines, no one seems to have noticed the similar statement by BTCPoint. On April 17th, they wrote on Twitter:

“We’re the fastest and cheapest way to send money to Spain and Poland. All you have to do is input the cell number of the recipient”.

It is hard to say whether Bit2Me has already come to Poland. However, a recent article about the company suggested it had plans to expand into Poland and Romania. By providing an easy bitcoin-to-cash conversion service in Poland and Romania, Spanish companies make it easier for numerous Poles and Romanians living in Spain to send money back home. Another target country, according to statements issued by Bit2Me and ChipChap, is Mexico.

Alexey Tereshchenko