Iceland’s First Bitcoin ATM Launched in the Capital Reykjavík

The Nordic island country, Iceland, got its first bitcoin ATM located inside a hotel in Hlemmur square, Reykjavik. The person behind introducing the crypto ATM is Bitcoin entrepreneur Jason Scott. The machine also supports multiple cryptocurrencies like bitcoin cash, ether, dash, litecoin, and zcash.

The ATM is installed at the Hlemmur Square hotel, owned by German hotelier Klaus Ortlieb. According to Ortlieb, he shall not earn any revenue from the bitcoin ATM but is happy that he could contribute to the Icelandic society.

“I thought it was an interesting idea because it can be hard to change Icelandic Króna into a different currency abroad. Instead of going to the bank, the hotel guests can change Icelandic Króna into bitcoin before leaving Iceland,” said Ortlieb in an interview with Iceland Monitor.

Bitcoin: A Global Currency

Aforementioned, Scott believes that the bitcoin machine will do good business as Iceland attracts tourist thought out the year. Even if locals are not hyped about it, tourists will use it. Tourists who are left with Icelandic Króna at the end of the tour can change it for cryptocurrencies, which is far convenient and straightforward than changing to fiat currency.

In fact, there is no currency at present that can be used globally, even considering the legality angle, bitcoin is the global currency at present. He also envisions few more machines in the capital, Reykjavík, if this machine does attract a lot of business.

If Iceland in the future implements bitcoin, it could prove to be more cost-effective than fiat money. Additionally, bitcoin is destined to be a global currency, which will remove the hassle of exchanging money while traveling. The cryptocurrency can benefit every business as transactions are done digitally, especially tourists who need not worry about currency exchange rates.

Iceland: A Crypto Hub

For crypto enthusiasts, Iceland may seem to be a pro-crypto destination. The country’s government is not very clear on its stance on cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin mining and transactions are legal. However, as per the Central Bank of Iceland’s 2014 statement, trading in bitcoin may violate Foreign Exchange Act, suggesting that Icelandic Króna cannot leave the country. Surprisingly nothing has changed since therefore Icelanders can buy bitcoin mined in the country.

Iceland has been a hotbed for cryptocurrency miners due to its cheap renewable energy. According to HS Orka, an Icelandic energy company, crypto mining centers in the country will consume more electricity than the entire population uses it to power their homes in 2018. However, it seems that the country will still be a popular crypto destination, if not for mining than bitcoin ATM’s.


Will bitcoin ATM’s be as common as fiat money ATM’s in the near future? Let us know your views in the comments section.

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