On Saturday, Portugal got its first bitcoin ATM, provided by Bitcoin Já. Ahead of the launch, the country’s central bank issued warnings about Bitcoin and virtual currencies.
It made reference to the ATM being installed in Lisbon, pointing out that it will not be integrated with the country’s payment system and suggesting that the warning itself was likely triggered by news of the launch.
The bank said that virtual currencies are not safe and that they are not supervised or regulated by any financial authority, whether locally or in the broader European Union (EU).
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Some of the other key points:
– Virtual currencies are not insured in the event of loss, theft or devaluation.
– They can be used for criminal activity.
The ATM’s operator pointed out that the cryptographic technology behind Bitcoin and the ATM’s processes are safe. As to the potential for uninsured and permanent loss, he said that holders should back up their private keys and limit the quantities held on vulnerable devices.