El Salvador embraces Lightning Network for crypto ATMs


  • Lightning Network boosts El Salvador’s crypto ATMs, revolutionizing transaction speed and cost.
  • El Salvador’s crypto-friendly policies continue to attract investment and innovation.
  • The nation aspires to become a financial center, following Singapore’s successful model.

Athena Bitcoin, the company responsible for operating a prominent chain of cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador, has unveiled plans to integrate the Lightning Network into its machines. This strategic move aims to enhance the efficiency and functionality of the ATMs, promoting faster transactions with minimized fees. The Lightning Network, widely recognized as a “layer 2” payment protocol, will be incorporated into 100 of Athena Bitcoin’s ATMs in the coming months.

Athena Bitcoin Global and Genesis Coin Inc., the key players behind this initiative, have successfully enabled the use of Lightning Network technology across their infrastructure. This groundbreaking development will initially be rolled out in El Salvador, with future plans to extend its adoption across Latin America. Currently, only a meager 3.7% of the world’s crypto ATMs support the Lightning Network technology, highlighting the significance of this move by Athena Bitcoin.

The Lightning Network is designed to facilitate quicker withdrawals and reduce transaction fees. One of its key advantages is the avoidance of recording transaction data in the primary network’s accounting. Athena Bitcoin aims to activate Lightning support in 100 of the state-owned Chivo ATMs it operates in El Salvador by December 2023. Subsequently, the remaining kiosks, including those under the Athena brand, will follow suit in the first quarter of 2024. Presently, there are a total of 215 cryptocurrency teller machines operating in El Salvador.

El Salvador’s crypto-friendly policies

El Salvador made history in 2021 when it became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. The driving force behind this monumental decision was the country’s leader, who has recently announced his intention to run for reelection as president in 2024. During a speech in front of thousands of Salvadorans, he declared, “Five more [years], five more and not one step back.”

In April 2023, the Salvadoran government took another bold step by eliminating all taxes on technology innovations. This forward-thinking policy is expected to attract more entrepreneurs and foreign capital to the country, further solidifying its position as a pioneer in the world of cryptocurrency and technology adoption.

Some experts, including Gabor Gurbacs, a strategy adviser at the investment management firm VanEck, believe that El Salvador has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Singapore and become a financial center in the Americas. Singapore’s transformation into a global financial hub is a model that El Salvador could emulate, leveraging its pro-crypto stance and business-friendly policies.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Lacton Muriuki

Lacton is an experienced journalist specializing in blockchain-based technologies, including NFTs and cryptocurrency. He dabbles in daily crypto news rich with well-researched stats. He adds aesthetic appeal, adding a human face to technology.

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