Dubai start-up plans to introduce 400 Bitcoin-enabled ATMs

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atmdubaiAfter revealing its first Bitcoin-enabled ATM in Dubai Media City in April, Dubai-based IT start-up Umbrellab said it plans to activate 400 cash machines to dole out the virtual currency across the UAE.

The company wants to add the Bitcoin feature to existing ATMs in shopping malls, supermarkets, hotels and labour camps. Transactions will be limited to the equivalent of up to Dh2,000 of Bitcoins per day (currently 1.066 BTC) and Dh10,000 per month (6.337 BTC).

The process first requires the input of a telephone number. Then, dirhams can be put into the machine and an “ok” symbol needs to be tapped. A receipt is printed out and in a matter of seconds an SMS is sent to the customer that Bitcoins have arrived in his digital wallet. The user’s phone remains linked to his digital wallet address for convenience and safety.

The service is targeting the UAE’s young population believed being receptive for the principle of virtual currencies, as well the large number of “unbanked” people, namely migrant workers who currently rely on relatively costly remittance services to send their money back home. With Bitcoin wallets, they simply would need a mobile phone to remit money at very little cost.

However, Bitcoin’s reputation has suffered lately due to the collapse of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox and cybertheft of Bitcoins. Some countries have banned the virtual currency – like Iceland and Vietnam – or prohibited their financial institutions to trade Bitcoins – like China -, while most other countries don’t have imposed restrictions.

In the UAE, so far there has been no statement by the central bank on its stance on the use or trade of Bitcoins.

 

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Reading Time: 1 minute

After revealing its first Bitcoin-enabled ATM in Dubai Media City in April, Dubai-based IT start-up Umbrellab said it plans to activate 400 cash machines to dole out the virtual currency across the UAE.

Reading Time: 1 minute

atmdubaiAfter revealing its first Bitcoin-enabled ATM in Dubai Media City in April, Dubai-based IT start-up Umbrellab said it plans to activate 400 cash machines to dole out the virtual currency across the UAE.

The company wants to add the Bitcoin feature to existing ATMs in shopping malls, supermarkets, hotels and labour camps. Transactions will be limited to the equivalent of up to Dh2,000 of Bitcoins per day (currently 1.066 BTC) and Dh10,000 per month (6.337 BTC).

The process first requires the input of a telephone number. Then, dirhams can be put into the machine and an “ok” symbol needs to be tapped. A receipt is printed out and in a matter of seconds an SMS is sent to the customer that Bitcoins have arrived in his digital wallet. The user’s phone remains linked to his digital wallet address for convenience and safety.

The service is targeting the UAE’s young population believed being receptive for the principle of virtual currencies, as well the large number of “unbanked” people, namely migrant workers who currently rely on relatively costly remittance services to send their money back home. With Bitcoin wallets, they simply would need a mobile phone to remit money at very little cost.

However, Bitcoin’s reputation has suffered lately due to the collapse of the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange Mt Gox and cybertheft of Bitcoins. Some countries have banned the virtual currency – like Iceland and Vietnam – or prohibited their financial institutions to trade Bitcoins – like China -, while most other countries don’t have imposed restrictions.

In the UAE, so far there has been no statement by the central bank on its stance on the use or trade of Bitcoins.

 

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