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India launches its first Bitcoin ATM

BENGALURU: A first Bitcoin ATM has been launched in India, which will allow customers to deposit and withdraw the currency from the kiosk.

Cryptocurrency exchange named Unocoin has launched an ATM in Bangaluru.

Unocoin said that the decision to launch the ATM was taken after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) ban in July, which put a virtual ban on trading in cryptocurrencies. “Due to the RBI’s recent notification on ‘Prohibition on Dealing in Virtual Currencies’, our banking relationships were disrupted some time ago,” Unocoin said.

Things to know about ‘mysterious digital currency’ Bitcoin

Unocoin said that it is planning to launch similar kiosks in Delhi and Mumbai. The customers would be able to deposit and withdraw cash from the kiosk but with riders. The kiosk will not accept debit or credit cards as banks cannot be involved in the transaction, and the minimum amount for deposit and withdrawal is Rs 1,000 and only in the multiples of Rs 500 bank notes.

The central bank had asked all banks and companies regulated by it to terminate any relationship with any firm dealing in cryptocurrencies from July 6 this year. The government, meanwhile, has said that cryptocurrencies are not a legal tender in India.

Recently, Argentina installed 30 Bitcoin ATMs as demand for cryptocurrency surged following the depreciation in its currency peso against the US dollar. Even in Argentina, cryptocurrencies are not backed by the central bank or the government.

Cryptocurrencies became overwhelmingly popular last year when Bitcoin surged from $5,000 to $20,000 in about two months, which also led to many governments to act and declare it either illegal or legal. However, Bitcoin could not sustain its high value and tumbled sharply too over the last eleven months. On Saturday, Bitcoin was trading at $6,408, as per cryptocurrency exchanges.

 

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