South Africa To Get Its First Cryptocurrency ATM

in #cryptocurrency2 years ago

A week ago I posted an article about Zimbabwe rolling out cryptocurrency ATMs and now it looks like it the trend has gone South of the border and reached Mzanzi.

South Africa is due to get its first cryptocurrency ATM this week, despite the country’s lack of knowledge about it among the population. It is claimed that users will be able to buy and sell cryptocurrencies at the ATM, and exchange cash for cryptocurrencies without a bank account.

The ATM which was imported from Portugal will be able to process various forms of cryptocurrency tokens including Ethereum and Bitcoin.

BitCoin ATM SA.png
Ad for ZA cryptocurrency ATM coming soon

The businessperson behind the ATM hopes to expose more people to the world of digital currencies and give them an opportunity to add some Bitcoin, Dash, Etherum, or others to their digital wallets.

According to Northwold Spar general manager George Neophytou, the biggest problem with cryptocurrency adoption in South Africa is that people do not have enough knowledge about it.

Location of ATm.png
The location of South Africa's first cryptocurrency ATM

Current South African Cryptocurrency Options

There are still only 1 200 businesses in the country who currently accept cryptocurrency with South African online payment provider payfast claiming that they are able to accept Bitcoin payments on their website.

How to use the cryptocurrency ATM

If you would like to try it out you will first need to purchase a cryptocurrency and South Africa currently has 2 exchanges that allow for fiat to cryptocurrency exchanges at the moment, they are:

Once you have your cryptocurrency you will need to place it in a Hot wallet which can communicate with the ATM. The ATM has a set limit of R50 so users can transfer a minimum of R50 at a time.

Excitement for a first in the country

Neophytou, however, was optimistic about the new venture, which is being installed at the Northwold Spar in Johannesburg. Neophytou said: “There are currently seven machines on their way and two in the country right now. With this new ATM machine, I am giving more people a chance to come and transfer some money, put it into their wallet and become part of the new generation.”

With about 3 000 bitcoin ATMs globally, Neophytou also noted the importance of gaining more knowledge about cryptocurrencies.

“The big problem with cryptocurrency is that people can’t see it. It’s something that is in the air. When one tries to explain to somebody that you have R10 worth of bitcoin on your cell phone, they only see their physical R10 as more valuable,” he said.

Neophytou added the new ATM machine served as a platform for people to see cryptocurrency as part of their reality.“It’s just like anything on the stock exchange. It goes up and it goes down. Cryptocurrency is the financial decision that everybody has to make on their own and it’s a personal decision,” he said.

Although this new venture is exciting, Neophytou warned that individuals should do their research and be aware and understand what they can get and also what they can afford to lose.

Reaction to the announcement

Economist Dawie Roodt was excited about the project, saying South Africans were “ahead of the curve with cryptocurrency”. Roodt further highlighted that people saw cryptocurrency as an investment opportunity and a platform to avoid exchange control regulations.“There isn’t much trust in the South African economy and people want to put their money where they can protect it,” said Roodt.

“The banking system in South Africa is also quite expensive. Although the cryptocurrency is also expensive, people would be keener to use cryptocurrencies because they want to be anonymous in what they’re doing.”

Bitcoin ATM.jpeg
A graphic depiction of what the ATM possibly looks like

Tax on cryptocurrency

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) does not officially regulate cryptocurrencies in South Africa, but profit from cryptocurrencies are still liable for capital gains tax.

Crypto ATM roll out globally

There are an estimated 3,000 Bitcoin ATM’s globally in 68 countries – including Zimbabwe and Djibouti in East Africa. Reasonable investment has gone into the launch of this venture as cryptocurrency ATM costs anything between around R100,000 to R170,000.

Motivations for cryptocurrency ATMs in SA

The banking industry is a bit of an oligopoly with no real disruption in recent years apart from Capitec looking to bank grey bankers but the introduction of peer to peer exchanges will be a brand new reality for many South African's.

There has been reasonable interest in cryptocurrency with companies like Luno taking first mover advantage and making it easier to own crypto in SA. That is being said there were not many options for you once you owned crypto in South Africa.

This will be the first cryptocurrency ATM trial in Johannesburg and depending on how well it goes Neophytou added that they will roll out more ATMs in the future.

Have your say

What do you think about cryptocurrency ATMs? Have you used one before? What are the service charges like? Does it make it easier when travelling? Will this start the ball rolling for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency?

Drop me a comment and let me know what you think!

Let's connect

For more cryptocurrency and my opinion on the market feel free to follow me @chekohler

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This is very interesting and informative. Also, this post has been selected as the daily nominated post in the #teamsouthafrica Discord server. Perhaps you'd like to join us there? Hope you join us and look forward to meeting you there

Oh wow thank you so much and sure i’ll join you all 😊

Wow, this is the start. Saw this post on Discord and landed up on your page. It’s going to roll out faster than we ever thought possible.

Let's hope so, the South African cryptocurrency scene needs to really get behind projects like this if we're going to get larger adoption. Its still very much in the shadows so ways that can show real world application is a must

So right in comment "Education is needed".

ATM is another discussion that happened back in 2014, then everything went quiet!

Still not sure if what was brought into Kyalami was in fact a vending machine or an ATM or

Great to read that there is some movement happening over here again, the bigger cities will be more responsive to change. is the only place I have heard of that you are able to use to accept bitcoin from website sales, it will be interesting to know if they are going to take this into various cryptocurrencies.

While doing the research for this post I also came across mentions of someone trying to bring a crypto vending machine to South Africa but I think that was a little bit before its time. While i'm not sure how well this ATM will do I am postive there are more South African's into crypto now compared to 2014.

As for payfast it doesnt look like they are really too concerned about crypto payments too much but if theres money to be made in supporting alt coins you can best believe companies will get on board eventually

Thank you for the support

I'm working on it. Part of my project is to bring in systems that best benefit the masses so that we don't end up with Whales controlling the system and able to charge silly fees. The reason for Crypto to begin with is to equalise society so we need to maintain that as our priority. There are tech guys out there working on things we'll be bringing out in the next few months to make the change over smooth. ;-)

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Very cool feedback... thanks... lank curious to find out what the fees are gonna be... on a R50 withdraw, I suspect you'll be making a - after all the fees convert fiat to BTC and then back again... but super keen to try it out either way :P

Lol I ageee I think he novelty of trying it out and saying I just pulled rands out a machine from bitcoin will sucker us all in, in the beginning! The other day I got some BTC for a freelance task and when they sent it the network fee was 0.0002 then Luno added it’s 0.0002 received fee and then the R8.50 to put into my account which works out to around R50 in any case

I think it would be super helpful overseas though, 3 weeks ago I withdrew money from an ATM in Thailand and it was like R250 on fees

This is true! Never thought of that... not only do the banks give you a shitty exchange rate, but charge high fees per transaction too... and often have ridiculously low limits... hmmm the light just went on. When these babies become common place all over the world, my bank can kiss its little cash cow good bye :P

Oh 100% I honestly despise our banks like oh we have a website and a call centre but anytime you actually want to do something oh sir please can you come into your closest branch so we can help you and then it I get to stand in a queue for ages for access to my own money it makes no sense

My ideal situation is if the ATM can read USDT or any Stable coin. As many of us in crypto do I often trade and use USDT to park my gains. I'm happy to use that to withdraw so I save on the volatility and only pay network cost and then the transaction cost of R50. I'd much rather pay that R50 to a private company/citizen trying to provide a helpful service and hopefully supporting them to grow the service nationally than to withdraw my money into fiat put it into your banking system and still be liable for capital gains tax.

Sorry intitutional fiannce you guys had a good run but i'm done with you

We're working on a 'visa' style card so that there will be no fees when used at stores. I'm actively working on getting the right tech into SA and Africa so it's not another One Billionaire and a billion beggars scenario. It's vital that the essence of Crypto is maintained.

sounds of vuvuzelas blowing

LOL! Oh the sweet sound of celebration that is the vuvuzela

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Thank you for the impressive report on this, appreciated.

Glad you found it helpful and interesting! Thanks for stopping by

This is great, although I will not be using it. From Luno my money goes into my bank account from where I pay with my debit card for shopping. But I am very glad that South Africa is on the forefront of new developments in Crypto. Thank you for sharing!

Yes, it's a very exciting time I just hope more people can get behind this initiative and see the value of peer to peer transactions. Doing your shopping in cryptocurrency would be a major leap forward in showing the every day person that this isn't make believe money or a scam

I'm so excited to see more folk bringing together the Crypto and the mainstream. Folk have been duped by media to believe it's evil and therefore to be feared.
I'm a huge global advocate for what Crypto can do for society. The massive positive social impact is limitless. I'm looking forward to seeing a lot more positive marketing for Cryptocurrency and the assets it creates.
Remember to focus on the technology behind the crypto as that's where the value lies.
Great post! Love to connect with everyone here!

Hey Bonnie, thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I agree crypto has plenty of real world advantages we have yet to tap into and we can only explore its possiblities once we all get behind it and move it forward together

I gave you a follow! Looking forward to seeing you around on Steemit

Sygnia Ltd, the financial services firm runs by Magda Wierzycka, businesswomen in South Africa planning to launch cryptocurrency exchange. It was announced on Friday 25th, 2018, the launch of exchange will be in 3rd quarter of 2018.
Read news here:

Thanks for the tip Diana, Will check it out once it launches and give it a review

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