“Kiosk” a cryptocurrency ATM launched by Unocoin in Bangalore.

“Kiosk” a cryptocurrency ATM launched by Unocoin in Bangalore.
Highlights

To help the users with transaction of cryptocurrency Unocoin has launched an ATM or a kiosk, as the company refers to it for Indians to buy and sell their bitcoins

BENGALURU: To help the users with transaction of cryptocurrency Unocoin has launched an ATM — or a kiosk, as the company refers to it — for Indians to buy and sell their bitcoins.

The first of these had been installed in a mall in Bengaluru. The ATM, which is being provided by ATM-maker NCR, is like the usual bank machine that exists, but with a few modifications.

One of these is that the debit/credit card slot has been disabled, as banks have been banned from supporting the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

Customers of Unocoin and its unit Unodax can deposit or withdraw cash between Rs 1,000 and Rs 10,000 per transaction within a day, in denominations of Rs 500. The balance that a customer holds in his/her account can be used to buy other cryptocurrencies through the ATM.

“We have a customer base of 13 lakh users and we are hoping that this will ease the pain points of customers after the ban,” says Sathvik Vishwanath, CEO and founder, Unocoin.

Despite the bank-ban in the month of February, Unocoin founder Viswanath says his platform has seen 18% user growth since then, to 13 lakh users. “The finance minister’s statement was very clear.

He said, cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in India. He did not say illegal tender. There’s a huge difference. It only means you bear the risk of your investment and there’s no regulation for the industry,” he says.

Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in his 2018-19 Budget speech, said, “The government does not consider cryptocurrencies legal tender or coin and will take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.”

Unocoin, which was found in December 2013, said that the next few kiosks will be set up in the states of Delhi and Mumbai.

“We rebranded it as a kiosk after we realised people were mistaking it for a regular ATM and trying to withdraw money from it,” Viswanath says.

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