Coinapult, a startup in Panama City, will make bitcoin purchases available at some 300 kiosks across Colombia. In a partnership with Punto Pago, which maintains terminals throughout the country that allow people to buy more data for their phones or pay bills, the foreign company has arranged for the automated machines to also offer transactions using the cryptocurrency.
“Anyone can use the machine to buy bitcoin — the only thing you need is an email address and Colombian pesos,” said the company in statement. “This makes the process of buying bitcoin as easy as paying utility bills or recharging your mobile phone.”
According to Coinapult, which was c0-founded in 2012 by Erik Vorhees, the machine will show the price of bitcoin in pesos and then print a receipt after the transaction is finished. The purchased bitcoins will then be delivered directly to the email address of the user. The company says that the experience is should be very familiar for anyone who has used a so-called “bitcoin ATM,” or BTM, in other parts of the world.
Coinapult has been in development since 2011 and made a big step forward when it partnered with Crypto Capital in 2015. “As Coinapult completes our integration with Crypto Capital and offering multi-signature solutions for our customers, we are excited to continue building bridges between the crypto and fiat worlds,” said Coinpult CEO Gabriel Sukenik at the time of the announcement.
The year also included a major setback, however. The company suffered a cybertheft of some $43,000 USD from its “hot wallet” of bitcoins in March of 2015. While proponents of the digital currency tout bitcoins security compared to the volatility of the foreign exchange market, incidents like this, which was proceeded by security breaches at Bitstamp and CAVirtex, show that risk is ever-present.