The first Bitcoin ATM in the British territory of Gibraltar has been installed. The European tax haven on the southern coast of Spain already has a few Bitcoin businesses and the government is currently working on a regulatory framework for digital currencies.
First Bitcoin ATM in Gibraltar
Gibraltar’s first Bitcoin ATM (BTM) was installed in the reception area of the World Trade Center Gibraltar, the center announced last week. The British Overseas Territory on Spain’s south coast has a population of about 34,408 as of 2016. The BTM accepts British pound sterling, Gibraltar pounds as well as Euro notes, the center stated:
People working and living in Gibraltar, as well as those visiting can now purchase the cryptocurrency using cash and mobile phone wallet apps. The BATM [Bitcoin ATM] accepts GBP, GIP and EUR notes, so a fraction of a bitcoin can be purchased for as little as £10 or €10.
The machine is privately owned by Bitcoin enthusiast Ludek Safranek, according to the Gibraltar Chronicle. “I contacted the World Trade Center and asked whether I could install the first ever Bitcoin ATM in Gibraltar,” he was quoted as saying. “A similar machine was installed a few weeks ago in Malta so I thought it was about time a bitcoin ATM was installed in Gibraltar. I think this is the perfect place to put the first Bitcoin ATM.”
Coinatmradar, a site which tracks the locations of BTMs, shows that this one-way BTM is the only one in Gibraltar. Its fee is 4.3% for purchasing bitcoin, the site detailed, noting that “altcoins to be added soon.”
Gibraltar Attracting Crypto Businesses
One establishment in the World Trade Center Gibraltar already accepts bitcoin. The health food restaurant called Supernatural is owned by Dan Thompson. He said his establishment is the first retail business to accept bitcoin in the territory. “We hope it will raise awareness and encourage other retailers and customers to begin to use this type of currency as well,” he noted.
A growing number of cryptocurrency companies are moving to Gibraltar, reported the Street. This is due to attractive tax benefits and loose regulations, the publication detailed.
In July 2016, the Gibraltar Stock Exchange approved a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Instrument (ETI) to be listed on GSX. The asset-backed exchange-traded instrument, which invests exclusively in bitcoin, is also co-listed on Deutsche Börse.
Government Planning Crypto Regulations
Gibraltar’s government published a consultation paper in January 2016 on digital currency regulation. Since then, it has been discussing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrency businesses.
In May, the government released a document which includes regulatory proposals for digital currency-related businesses. It was introduced at the Digital Currency Summit held at the University of Gibraltar for a full public consultation. “The proposals include for amendments to be made to regulations under the Financial Services (Investment and Fiduciary Services) Act 1989, with a proposed operative date no later than 1st January 2018,” the paper revealed, noting that “a few businesses, many involving virtual currencies, have started operations.”
Do you think Gibraltar will become the next big Bitcoin hotspot? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Supernatural, and Gibraltar Chronicle
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