Cryptocurrency kiosk machine launches in Abu Dhabi Global Market

Crypto enthusiasts can buy Bitcoin or other digital currencies from the machine

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: A collection of Bitcoin (virtual currency) tokens are displayed in this picture illustration taken December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo
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Customers can buy digital currencies such as Bitcoin via a vending machine in Abu Dhabi for the first time following the launch of a crypto assets kiosk.

The first officially approved Digital Asset Kiosk Machine started operating in Abu Dhabi Global Market – the emirate’s financial free zone – earlier this week, allowing users to insert cash or credit cards in exchange for Bitcoin or other currencies given as a paper receipt for their records. It is located in The Galleria Mall, on Al Maryah Island next to the ADGM.

The kiosk withdrawal is logged via the internet, and the purchased bitcoins are added to the customer’s virtual currency ‘wallet’ for use in future transactions, ADGM said on Wednesday.

The dramatic growth of digital asset and crypto asset markets has disrupted and transformed the financial services industry. Initially intended as a medium of exchange requiring no central counter-party, crypto assets such as Bitcoin have evolved to become alternative investments for investors seeking returns in this asset class, and as such have required new regulatory frameworks globally.

GCC financial centres have responded with new rules to regulate the fast-growing investment area, attract more companies operating in the digital currency industry, and encourage innovation in this space.

For example, ADGM in February launched a framework to regulate spot crypto asset activities, a step towards developing a safer marketplace for digital currencies.

The Digital Asset Kiosk Machine in Galleria Mall is an initiative of financial services brokerage firm World Credit Savings, regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of the ADGM.