El Salvador Bitcoin ATM Network to Receive Lightning Network Upgrade

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Athena Bitcoin is set to revolutionize its network of cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador by integrating the Lightning Network, a decision poised to accelerate transaction speed and slash fees. This ‘layer 2’ payment protocol is due to be installed in 100 Athena Bitcoin ATMs shortly, marking a notable advancement since globally, only 3.7% of crypto ATMs are equipped with this technology.

The project is a collaborative effort between Athena Bitcoin Global and Genesis Coin Inc. and will debut in El Salvador, potentially expanding throughout Latin America. The integration into El Salvador’s Chivo ATMs, which are state-owned and operated by Athena Bitcoin, is expected to complete by December 2023. The upgrade will then extend to the remaining Athena-branded kiosks in the first quarter of 2024. El Salvador is currently home to 215 cryptocurrency ATMs.

El Salvador’s government, became the first country to declare Bitcoin legal tender in 2021. In a move to further strengthen the country’s innovative edge, the government eradicated taxes on technological advancements in April 2023, aiming to draw in more entrepreneurs and global investment to this emerging tech hub.