The United Arab Emirates is not a region one would associate with cryptocurrency. In fact, the Middle East doesn’t seem too welcoming to Bitcoin. Things are changing behind the scenes, though. ConHub and NCR are teaming up to bring Bitcoin-enabled ATMs to the UAE. It seems there will not be two-way devices as users are only able to sell cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin ATMs provide a degree of convenience regular exchanges cannot match. More specifically, they allow instant conversion from cash to BTC and vice versa. Exchanges require a manual sign up, lengthy verification, and slow payment methods. In the United Arab Emirates, Bitcoin ATMs will soon become more apparent. These devices will let users both buy and sell the world’s leading cryptocurrency in quick succession. For now, it only works if the user has an active CoinHub exchange account with a Bitcoin balance.

UAE Merges Bank ATMs With Bitcoin Services

This is a pretty interesting development, to say the least. In most cases, users can only convert cash to Bitcoin through an ATM. This method is the exact opposite, as it makes use of regular ATMs first and foremost. Users can authenticate themselves through an ATM card or a mobile device. It is good to make the method of converting Bitcoin to local currency more convenient. For now, there is still no option to buy Bitcoin from an ATM in the UAE.

NCR Financial Services VP professional services Panicos Demetriades comments:

“When we first showcased this solution to mark the 50th anniversary of the ATM last year, the positive feedback from our leading financial institution customers in the UAE helped guide our decision to bring this to market.”

All things considered, it is still difficult to put Bitcoin on the map. While this one-way method of converting Bitcoin is interesting, it won’t boost cryptocurrency adoption per se. At the same time, it is an innovative concept which shouldn’t be ignored either. Spain has thousands of ATMs which allow users to withdraw the cash equivalent of their Bitcoin balance. It only makes sense to offer similar functionality in the UAE. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out in the coming weeks and months.

Header image courtesy of Shutterstock


About Author

JP Buntinx is a 30-year old FinTech and Bitcoin enthusiast living in Belgium. His passion for finance and technology made him one of the world's leading freelance Bitcoin writers, and he is working to achieve the same level of respect in the FinTech sector.

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