The most recent was installed in a Delimart convenience store, in Guachipelín de Escazú. This was the product of a strategic alliance between the business chain and Edenia, a technology company that owns the device.
This firm had already installed an ATM for the purchase of bitcoins in the Trifami building, next to the Central Bank, in the heart of the capital. And although he does not state it forcefully, Edgar Fernández, one of his partners, assures that he is delighted to work with Delimart, which has “a network of very strategic mini-supermarkets”. It is very likely that it will maintain the alliance with the convenience store chain to continue its expansion.
Fernández affirms that there is a lot to grow: the United States has 30,000 ATMs of this type; El Salvador, which last year made Bitcoin official as legal tender, has 200; meanwhile, in Costa Rica there are barely 7 devices of this type.According to the coinatmradar.com site, 6 ATMs are in San José and one in Jacó.
How does it work?
In order to buy Bitcoins, it is necessary to first open a virtual wallet. This can be done through a platform from a computer, tablet or cell phone with an internet connection.
If you want to use this ATM system, you can do so as a registered or unregistered user. In the case of the Delimart ATM, you must bring the money in cash and only Colones are received.
“By means of a QR Code arranged on the outside of the device, where the instructions are listed, a series of steps are followed on the screen and at the end you will have -in your personal wallet- the amount acquired”, explained Flavia Loeb, manager of Delimart.
Purchase amounts vary. If the user is registered (at the Edenia office) they can buy from ¢5,000 to ¢250,000. In the case of anonymous users, the daily purchase range goes from ¢5,000 to ¢30,000.
The cost of the cryptocurrency is governed by the Kraken price index. The commission is $5 plus 9% of the amount purchased. Loeb clarified that Edenia is the owner of the terminals and is the one that defines the commissions that they charge to their clients. In this case, contact was made with the company to install these ATMs and thus bring customers closer to new technologies.
An investment with potential
One of the elements that make the use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin attractive is that they are decentralized, that is, they are not governed by a central bank.
“It is money without political influence. Nobody controls it,” says Fernández, who sees promising potential for this cryptocurrency. It can be used to buy and sell products or as an investment, with the difference that everything is done virtually.
The transactions are registered in a system known as blockchain, which gives security to the transaction. Among its advantages is that they allow fast payments and without intermediaries.
Many people have dared to invest in this and other cryptocurrencies. However, its price is too volatile. For example, last November each bitcoin was worth $64,000, while last January it was worth $35,000. Currently, its value is $40,140.