The innovative Bitcoin ATMs developed by Salvadoran company K1 have been warmly embraced in Europe, the United States, and Latin America due to their ability to quickly and securely acquire Bitcoin.
The growing Bitcoin ecosystem in the country has presented a realm of opportunities for Salvadoran entrepreneurs who are involved in technological advancements and seek to innovate with their projects.
This dynamism has allowed K1, a Salvadoran firm that manufactures Bitcoin ATMs capable of reloading electronic wallets utilizing the Lightning Network, to export its technology abroad.
Edgar Borja, CEO of the company, explained that they currently have six ATMs in El Salvador, three in Europe, four in the United States, and fifteen distributed among Mexico, Colombia, and Ecuador.
According to the entrepreneur, the K1-designed machines have been well received in these nations due to their ability to efficiently and securely acquire Bitcoin.
“The ATMs have been very well received. The Bitcoin community in Switzerland, France, and Austria has been pleased because it is extremely user-friendly […] Our product delivers Bitcoin immediately and has the advantage of accepting coins for small amounts. We have our own niche, even though we are competing globally,” stated Borja.
The product, known as the “K1 Mini,” allows users to input coins valued at $1, $0.25, and even $0.05, which are then converted into Bitcoin and added to their wallets.
“It is a low-cost and accessible product. We are targeting individuals involved in small transactions or those who are looking to learn about Bitcoin but may not want to risk $10 or $20, which can be significant for many people. They are, however, willing to learn and save with $1 or $0.25,” he explained.
Furthermore, the company plans to launch a new ATM that accepts bills, aiming to expand its reach.
“We currently have several products in the manufacturing process, some more advanced than others, but the one we want to continue growing with is the coin-operated ATM and commercially launch the bill-operated ATM,” he indicated.
Growth in Technology Exports
According to data from the Central Reserve Bank (BCR), as of March this year, the exports of information and communication technology (ICT) goods experienced a year-on-year growth of 17.6% in terms of value and a 7.19% increase in volume.
Currently, El Salvador exports $8.04 million worth of technology abroad, with computers and peripheral equipment leading the growth with a remarkable 120.8% increase compared to the same period in 2022.
For Borja, the growth in technology exports will continue to rise as more local investors venture into the field and international corporations are attracted by the new Law for the Promotion of Innovation and Technological Manufacturing, which provides a 15-year tax exemption.
He also mentioned that the support from government institutions has become crucial for the growth of companies like the one he leads.
“We won an award from the Superintendence of the Financial System (SSF), which organized a competition on financial inclusion, and we secured first place. That helped us further develop our products,” added Borja.