Bitchain, a Spanish bitcoin ATM, NFC and Card solutions provider and cryptocurrency counseling company, announced on July 11 that they launched Greece’s first two-way Bitcoin ATM at The Cube Athens, a Greek coworking space.
The following morning, over €2000 were already exchanged through about 25 transactions, Bitchain representative Adrian Verde said. According to Mashable.com, the bitcoin ATM “has a withdrawal limit of 1,000 euros and for now, the machine does not charge a commission for each transaction.”
Despite its successful launch, the bitcoin Reddit community asked Bitchain what they plan to do with all of the capital-controlled euros that could stack up in the machine. The owner of The Cube responded on Reddit:
“I am the owner of The Cube Athens, the partner space hosting this very interesting experiment. Yes, there are indeed capital controls that prohibit the movement of money outside of the country, so we have agreed with all involved that if the BTM needs to be emptied, (which may not happen since people are buying and selling coin) any cash removed will be deposited in a local Greek bank account, so no money will be moved out of the system.”
Plans proposed to improve the situation in Greece include increasing taxes and cutting benefits, but not confiscating people’s funds entirely. Since all EU countries have a deposit guarantee up to €100,000, the capital control plans won’t affect Bitchain’s bitcoin ATM.
Verde told a gathering of a dozen bitcoin entrepreneurs who want to increase the cryptocurrency’s use in Greece:
"The freedom bitcoin gives you is greater than the freedom euros give you right now. Everyone presumes that a bank won't fail them, but right now has demonstrated that banks can't be trusted because people can't get their own money."
The bitcoin price decreased by 10% after Eurozone leaders agreed once again to offer a third bailout for Greece, financing up to €86 billion over three years. With the help of the Eurozone, Greece secured debt restructuring and a growth package, which could decrease the on-going spike of popularity of bitcoin in the country.