‘Blockchain Island’ Malta to Install Bitcoin ATMs

Malta continues to serve as the world’s center for blockchain innovation following an announcement today that brand new two-way Bitcoin ATMs will be installed throughout the island.

The new ATMs have been created by a company called MoonZebra in collaboration with ‘digital nomad and self-confessed Bitcoin maximalist’ Leon Siegmund. Siegmend is famously known as one of the co-founders of Bitcoin Club Malta, a group responsible for organizing events and meetups for the blockchain business scene. The new Bitcoin ATM project is aimed at producing greater interest in Bitcoin among the general public.

When I moved to Malta two years ago there was a not much happening regarding bitcoin and decentralized ledger technology,” Siegmund told CCN in an exclusive interview. “But within just 2 years and thanks to the collaborative effort of many individuals, something very special happened. In the beginning of 2017, I met Jonas Abrahamsson at the Bitcoin Meetup in Gozo and we tried to find something that would be appreciated by the local Bitcoin community in Malta and our first idea was to set up public trash bins on the island. These would be would be digital and would reward usage with tokens – a great idea I have to say but which never came to fruition. Another idea was a Bitcoin ATM. It is very difficult to operate here because banks are very hostile and don’t want to support us but after much blood, sweat and tears, we are happy to launch.

The new CryptoATM will give users the ability to deposit, buy, and withdraw cryptocurrency the same way as a traditional ATM. Users can deposit fiat cash into the ATM, enter their public key, and have crypto sent to their private wallets.

“Users can also convert crypto back into fiat with the two-way ATM. It also gives people the ability to bypass exchanges and – on some levels – crypto ATMs could solve the issue of exchanges being centralized.”

While the CryptoATM will initially only work with Bitcoin, it is likely other cryptos will become available for use in the future.

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