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

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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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. 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...

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.

 



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Donation Total: $10.00