Johannesburg Gets a New Crypto ATM, Ban Threatened Harare May Lose One

A new crypto teller machine is now operational in South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg. The ATM, which supports several digital coins, has been installed at a supermarket in the north-western part of the city’s metro area. It is the latest addition to a growing number of terminals offering automated crypto-fiat exchange services in the country and across the continent. Not all is rosy in the region, however. A crypto ban in neighboring Zimbabwe may deprive Harare of its bitcoin ATM. Nevertheless, crypto teller services are spreading in Africa.

Multicurrency ATM Installed in a South African Supermarket


The Republic of South Africa, the continent’s economic powerhouse, and neighboring Zimbabwe, one of Africa’s most troubled nations, have at least one thing in common – the growing interest in cryptocurrencies, although under different circumstances. In recent years, both countries have been experiencing their own versions of crypto development. The process has led to improved access to the crypto ecosphere but now their paths may diverge again.

A South African outlet reported this week that the nation has got its “first” cryptocurrency ATM in its largest city. The teller machine has been installed at a store in Northwold, part of one of the biggest retail chains in the country – Spar. The automated terminal is a multicurrency device, according to Business Insider South Africa. Customers can buy bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH) and litecoin (LTC) with fiat cash. Unfortunately, it supports one-way transactions, which means only purchases of cryptocurrency are available.

Of course, “the first” is almost always a doubtful label. Unsurprisingly, right after the report came out, the breaking news information was corrected by other media. “While this is undoubtedly a forward-looking move, it is most certainly not the first cryptocurrency ATM to go live in South Africa,” Mybroadband wrote in a piece putting forward another example. According to member of the local crypto sector, multiple cryptocurrency ATMs are operating in South Africa. Jacques Serfontein, CEO of mining hardware supplier Bitmart, said his company has installed one last year at its store in Nelspruit, east of Johannesburg. It supports multiple cryptocurrencies, as well, including bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dash, and zcash. Serfontein added he knew of several other crypto ATMs in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Midrand.

The new Johannesburg’s ATM may not be the first in the country after all, nevertheless, it’s arguably the first one in Northwold. The good news is that the residents of another South African neighborhood will be able to buy digital cash with a simple QR scan and a fiat payment. The teller machine has been installed by the Spar store manager, George Neophytou, who is a crypto enthusiast and entrepreneur. “I asked permission to use this location because I work here. What better place to set it up, so that if a user required help, I’d be on-site to help,” Neophytou said. His initiative was supported by Vendibit, a company developing software and hardware blockchain solutions, and his partner, Daniel Cappiello, director of the Danish firm Copencoin…

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