Eastern European Companies find Alternatives to Bitcoin ATMs
While in some countries, Bitcoin ATMs are popping up everywhere, in other countries the access to these ATMs is tougher. Even in the case of the Czech Republic which has more than 40 ATMs in the country, for citizens living outside of Prague, it is difficult to have access to these terminals.
A few countries in Eastern Europe have found a solution to this problem. Countries like Ukraine and Romania are exploring ways of cash-to-crypto transactions without using full-scale ATM solutions, but by piggybacking on other existing systems.
Their solution is to use payment portals. These portals allow people to make payments using just their phone. Bitcoin Romania, a provider of Bitcoin exchange services in the country, saw payment portals as a better solution as opposed to fully using ATMs. To overcome the problem of installing multiple ATMs across the country, Bitcoin Romania partnered up with ZebraPay, the top payment portal in the country.
With this, anyone in Romania can walk into a store and buy BTC and ETH in one of ZebraPay’s more than 3000 locations. For example, the 6000 residents of the town of Bicaz can walk to a single supermarket and buy as much as Bitcoin they want.
A similar concept was launched by BTCU in Ukraine using EasyPay and TYME portals. Users of this service can buy Bitcoin, DASH and Ethereum.
This is an important service to have because in most countries buying cryptocurrencies is face-to-face. Apart from this concern with discretion, there are also problems with helping unbanked people join the pool of cryptocurrency holders.
In relation to discretion, many coin holders are wary of using their bank cards in relation to cryptocurrency transactions as in some countries it can lead to suspension of the bank account.
While the payment portals don’t allow people to sell their coins for cash, it is still an entry into the market with a future potential of making this conversion possible as well.