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ITWeb Africa

Tuesday, Jan 22nd

Bitcoin ATM goes live in Zimbabwe

Bitcoin ATM goes live in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's bitcoin exchange Golix has enabled crypto-currency purchases and cash withdrawals from bitcoin wallets via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM).

The ATM went live over the past weekend and trades according to the global bitcoin and ethereum average prices. World bitcoin prices averaged US$6 750 on Tuesday, while ethereum averaged US$398 on global exchanges.

"There are two currencies that you can either buy or withdraw at the moment. If you are buying, you are directed to a platform where you will then have to deposit the money through the ATM," stated a member of Golix' customer support staff.

Bitcoin prices on the Golix online platform (different from trade on the Golix ATM) in Zimbabwe fetch a premium and on Tuesday traded around US$9 839 by COB.

Bitcoins on the Zimbabwe Golix online platform can be purchased using local bond coins, mobile money wallets or local bank transfer.

Meanwhile Golix has had to tighten account security and login procedures for crypto-currency traders on its exchange platform.

In the three weeks up to 12 March, the Zimbabwean Golix exchange "noticed that a limited number of Golix accounts fell victim to unsolicited third party access" with information indicating that "compromised user email accounts" had sparked off the breach.

"Affected users have noticed some changes to their accounts such as the conversion of their crypto-currencies and/or the acquisition of additional crypto-currencies through already held US dollar balances," stated Golix in a note to traders last month.

The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has cautioned against trading in bitcoins.

Governor John Mangudya said virtual currencies do not have "legal tender status in Zimbabwe".

The government adds that traders in bitcoin are liable to risks as there is no legal protection or recourse in the event of something going wrong.

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