Uruguay has reportedly installed its first Bitcoin (BTC) ATM, making it the 11th South American country to publicly encourage crypto adoption. Prior to Uruguay’s involvement, South America hosted 79 ATMs, which represented 0.2% of global BTC ATM installations.
According to Ámbito, Uruguay’s first crypto ATM was installed in the coastal city of Punta del Este, a major tourist attraction in the region. Uruguay’s first Bitcoin ATM was developed and installed in partnership with two local crypto companies — URUBit and inBierto.
The crypto ATM in Uruguay currently supports withdrawal and deposits of five cryptocurrencies, namely — BTC, Binance Coin (BNB), Binance USD (BUSD), Ferret Token (FRT) and Urubit (URUB). FRT and URUB are in-house cryptocurrencies managed and distributed by URUBit and inBierto, respectively.
Adolfo Varela, the CEO of inBierto, confirmed that the initiative was 100% funded by the government of Uruguay. inBierto is a crypto investment platform that is also a member of the Uruguayan Chamber of Fintech (Cámara Uruguaya de Fintech), a startup accelerator focused on the fintech sector. URUBit is a decentralized token created in Uruguay and deployed in the Binance Smart Chain (BSC).
Data from Coin ATM Radar shows that Colombia leads the South American market with 31 crypto ATM installations to date, followed by Brazil and Argentina at 22 and 11 installations, respectively.
Other South American countries, such as Ecuador, Venezuela, Aruba, Saint Kits and Nevis, have also installed one crypto ATM each.
inBierto has not yet responded to Cointelegraph's request for comment.
Last year, an Uruguayan senator introduced a draft bill seeking to regulate cryptocurrency and enable businesses to accept crypto payments.
As Cointelegraph reported, senator Juan Sartori was not keen on adopting crypto as a legal tender. Instead, he suggested:
“Today, we present a bill that seeks to establish a legitimate, legal and safe use in businesses related to the production and commercialization of virtual currencies in Uruguay.”