El Salvador Bitcoin ATMs Poised for Lightning Network Boost

Athena Bitcoin and Genesis Coin propelling Lightning Network integration to revolutionize crypto accessibility in El Salvador.

A Bitcoin ATM with lightnings coming out of it, on a square in San Salvador.
Created by Gabor Kovacs from DailyCoin
  • Athena Bitcoin and Genesis Coin unite to launch Lightning Network for Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador.
  • The upgrade will bring enhanced functionality to over one hundred machines.
  • El Salvador’s pro-Bitcoin President has announced a reelection bid for the upcoming year.

The cryptocurrency industry has witnessed a strategic embrace of secondary infrastructures as key drivers of mainstream adoption, including Smartphones and exchange marketplaces. However, the cryptocurrency Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) take this adoption to the next level, providing a tangible and familiar interface for users to interact with their virtual assets.

Following the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in 2021, El Salvador implemented BTC ATM technology, allowing citizens to convert cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars and withdraw fiat. Two digital asset firms, Athena Bitcoin and Genesis Coin, have united to enhance their efficiency with a new upgrade.

Lighting Network Upgrade for Bitcoin ATMs

According to a press release dated November 8, Athena Bitcoin, an international operator of Bitcoin ATMs and Genesis Coin, has implemented Lightning Network technology throughout their ATM infrastructures in El Salvador.


This integration will offer expedited and cost-effective withdrawal options for customers utilizing Athena Bitcoin and Chivo-branded kiosks within the region, enhancing accessibility and efficiency.

The firms will unfold the upgrade progressively, commencing with Chivo Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. By the end of December 2023, a hundred machines are expected to be Lightning Network-enabled, with the remaining kiosks following suit in the first quarter of 2024.

President and Chief Strategist of Genesis Coin Doug Carillo stated, “We're always looking for ways to innovate and apply Bitcoin as a tool for financial empowerment in communities all over the world. The low cost of Lightning transactions will allow Salvadorans to keep more money in their pocket and enable smaller and potentially more frequent transactions."

As Athena Bitcoin and Genesis Coin pave the way for Lightning Network integration, the future of crypto asset adoption in El Salvador remains promising.

El Salvador, the Pro-Bitcoin Nation

On September 7, 2021, El Salvador became the first country to adopt Bitcoin as a legal tender under the administration of its president, Nayib Bukele.


The decision faced opposition from global financial regulators, including entities like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Despite the challenges, the Salvadoran government remained committed to advancing its blockchain-based system, regardless of market downturns and volatility.

President Bukele has also revealed plans to run for re-election in the coming year, further charting his Bitcoin-friendly advocacy within the region. 

On the Flipside

  • The Lightning Network upgrade will extend to countries across Latin America.
  • The Bitcoin blockchain is far from perfect; it remains relatively slow and expensive, even with the Lightning Network upgrades.
  • According to Bloomberg, El Salvador possesses roughly 2,546 Bitcoins, obtained with an initial investment of approximately $108 million.

Why This Matters

The Lightning Network integration will catalyze greater crypto adoption among users within El Salvador. Additionally, a potential reelection of President Nayib Bukele could position El Salvador as a leading advocate for Bitcoin within the Americas, establishing a precedent for cryptocurrency adoption on a broader scale.

Read more on the possible reboot of FTX in 2024 as three entities battle in an auction showdown: 
Former NYSE President Eyes FTX Revival In Battle Of Three 

El Salvador’s Nayib Bukele appointed the author of Bitcoin Standard as an additional member of his office. Find out more:
El Salvador: ‘Bitcoin Standard’ Author Joins Bukele’s Office

This article is for information purposes only and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein shall be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading forex, cryptocurrencies, and CFDs pose a considerable risk of loss.

Grace Abidemi

Grace Abidemi, a cryptocurrency reporter at DailyCoin, covers industry developments and trends. She previously worked as a freelance writer. With a Bachelor's degree in German Language and certifications in marketing and storytelling, Grace creates engaging content. When not working, she's in Nigeria, mastering cooking and canvas painting, and enjoys learning about different cultures and languages.