Athena Bitcoin intends to incorporate the Lightning Network onto 100 of its computers over the next several months.
Athena Bitcoin, the business that operates a state-owned network of crypto ATMs in El Salvador, aims to install the Lightning Network into 100 of these machines over the next few months.
According to a press statement issued on November 7, Athena Bitcoin Global and Genesis Coin have already allowed the usage of Lightning Network technology throughout their technical infrastructure and will now begin deploying it, first in El Salvador and subsequently throughout Latin America.
Athena intends to switch all 100 of the state-owned Chivo ATMs that it now operates in El Salvador to Lightning support by December 2023. Q1 2024 will see the installation of the last kiosks, including those bearing the Athena brand. As of right now, El Salvador has 215 cryptocurrency ATMs.
Nayib Bukele, the nation's leader, is credited with creating Bitcoin BTC $36,739 legal tender in 2021 and declared his intention to seek reelection to the presidency in 2024. Speaking in front of thousands of Salvadorans, Bukele declared, "Five more [years], five more and not one step back." Bukele took a risk in April 2023 when he decided to remove all taxes on technological advancements, which would encourage more business owners and international investors to settle in the nation. A layer-2 payment technology called Lightning Network reduces transaction fees and allows for quicker withdrawals. Additionally, it prevents entering the transaction data into the main network's accounting. Just 3.7% of cryptocurrency ATMs worldwide are compatible with the technology, according to Coin ATM Radar.
Some experts, including investment management company VanEck's strategy consultant Gabor Gurbacs, think El Salvador may emulate Singapore and grow into the region's financial hub.
El Salvador's decision to upgrade its Bitcoin ATM network to the Lightning Network is a remarkable step in the evolution of its crypto-friendly ecosystem. By enhancing transaction speed, cost-effectiveness, and accessibility, the move is poised to benefit both the local population and the nation's standing in the global cryptocurrency landscape. As the Lightning Network integration unfolds, all eyes will be on El Salvador to see how this pioneering move shapes the future of digital currency adoption worldwide.