A partnership between two cryptocurrency firms could bring 20 new bitcoin ATMs to cities around Colombia.

The bitcoin exchange, Paxful, and crypto ATM company, CoinLogiq, announced the partnership Sept. 5. By integrating the Paxful kiosk feature with CoinLogiq hardware, users will be able to purchase BTC using cash, credit and online debit transfers.

According to Coinatmradar.com, Colombia already boasts 46 bitcoin ATMs, nearly triple the number of all the other terminals located in South America. Further, Paxful conducted a survey of 1,000 random Colombian internet users, and found that nearly 80 percent of Colombians are open to investing in cryptocurrencies.

There are a number of concerns, however. Colombian regulators have thus far exhibited a hardline stance against cryptocurrencies. In 2017, Colombia’s central bank, Banco de la República, decreed crypto does not represent legal tender, while the Superintendencia Financiera (SF) said financial institutions are not authorized to invest, broker, or manage virtual currencies.

Despite these dictates, crypto exchange LocalBitcoins found that transactions made in Colombian pesos spiked 1,200 percent in 2017.

Evidence suggests that demand for crypto in Colombia is at least partially driven by expatriates from neighboring Venezuela. In fact, as previously reported, a cottage industry of crypto exchanges and ATMs has sprouted providing services for Venezuelans to exchange their hyperinflated currency and send remittances back home.

The newly-added ATMs will be placed in shopping centers and other public spots. The machines will allow users to withdraw or deposit cryptocurrencies. Paxful did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

Paxful’s manager for Latin America, Magdiela Rivas, said the partnering firms are also working to place 25 new cryptocurrency ATMs in Peru.

Colombia-Venezuela border image via Shutterstock

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