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A brand-new bitcoin ATM, installed in the very heart of the roaring financial centre of a country of 100 million people, allows visitors to buy and sell bitcoins as well as create new online wallets.

The new device, made by Genesis, looks like a traditional ATM. It is situated in Makati, the financial centre of the Philippines, where most multinational and local corporations, including the Philippine stock exchange, are located. It is the second bitcoin ATM in the Philippines and the first to make it possible to both buy and sell bitcoins. The other bitcoin ATM in the country, which only allows to sell bitcoin, is also in Makati, quite close to the new one.  

The daily trade limit at the new bitcoin ATM, both for purchases and sales, is 50,000 Philippine pesos (1,120 USD). The machine offers not only to “Buy bitcoin” and “Get cash”, but also to “Create Online Wallet” in just a few minutes.

With a population of 100 million people, Philippines is the 12th most populated country in the world. A further 12 million Filipinos live abroad and many of them send money home, creating a huge market for remittances. A large number of Filipinos is unbanked, making the country even more interesting for bitcoin startups. As CoinFox already wrote, there is a remittance corridor between Hong Kong and Philippines, established by Bitspark and Coins.ph, and a payroll system created by Bitwage that makes it possible for American businesses to pay their workers in the Philippines in local currency. There is also a number of local startups, including the bitcoin exchanges Palarin and BuyBitcoin.ph and a universal bitcoin service, Satoshi Citadel Industries (SCI).

While new bitcoin ATMs are installed in different parts of the world (CoinFox recently reported on new ATMs in Basel, Switzerland, and in Toronto, Canada), a part of the bitcoin community thinks that ATMs that only work with bitcoin are useless. Companies like BTCPoint, Bit2Me, and even Robocoin, formerly a manufacturer of bitcoin ATMs, are focusing on creating software enabling ordinary ATMs to work with bitcoins. An even more radical solution is envisioned by Abra, a company that wishes to replace bitcoin ATMs with a network of individual ‘tellers’ – Abra users with smartphones.

 

Alexey Tereshchenko