Oldest Bitcoin ATM Manufacturer Lamassu Moves To Swiss Crypto Valley
According to a Medium blog post, Lamassu, the oldest Bitcoin ATM manufacturer founded in 2013, has announced that they are shifting their headquarters to Canton of Lucerne. The write-up further states that the decision has been made “after years” of searching for a suitable location.
Regarding the decision, the company said
“Crypto Valley is alive and kicking and we’re excited to be in an area so rich in crypto development and blockchain events.”
With 433 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide, Lamassu is arguably the most popular Bitcoin machines today. Seven of those machines exist in Switzerland. Crypto enthusiasts are now able to buy Bitcoins with their train tickets at over 1,000 machines in Switzerland. However, it was also the “well-defined” rules that encouraged the company to roll out more products.
However, not all is well as in Switzerland, once home to the largest number of blockchain startups and fund raisers via ICOs. When banking giant UBS ended its relationship with crypto companies, all major Swiss banks followed suit.
Other crypto-friendly nations such as Germany, Malta and Lichtenstein are nearby. This made Swiss authorities swiftly change their stance and started to halt the exodus of blockchain companies from the country.
In order to regain its crypto-friendly title, the Swiss Banking Association (SBA) laid down clear guidelines for banks on how to work with crypto firms.
Maintaining a bank account as a crypto company still poses several risks. Companies can be subject to regular account freezes or even ordered to transfer funds to another institution in short notice.
Yet Lamassu seems undeterred:
“Exciting stuff is happening in Switzerland at every level. Open source Bitcoin and Lightning Network nodes are being hacked together, hardware wallets are being designed and manufactured, the world’s leading cryptocurrency regulations are being carefully guided, world-class meetups and events are happening, and lots of Bitcoin ATMs are being deployed.”
In 2018, the number of Bitcoin ATMs around the world doubled and now stands at a little over 4,000. Lamassu refers this as “booming.” The company wants its home to be a place where rules are defined precisely and regulators support innovation.
Lamassu faced a far worse situation in the past, compared with the tussle between the banks and crypto firms in Switzerland. The Bitcoin ATM maker has pointed out that in its native Portugal, the company was unsuccessful in finding a bank to work with them.
“We’ve been bankless for the past year. We must have been rejected by fifteen banks just because we manufacture terminals for Bitcoin.”
Lamassu does not trade or store cryptocurrency. It is merely a hardware manufacturer. However, one of the company’s main concerns about selecting a new jurisdiction was that they should not face any problems in opening a bank account.
According to the blog post, the executives of Lamassu had a “nice chat” with a small bank named Aargau in Swiss canton and have received the green signal to open a bank account. Lamassu said
“In fact, you should expect to see one of our cryptomats [Bitcoin ATMs] in their headquarters early this year.”
Even though the Bitcoin ATM manufacturer was lucky to receive a positive response, the struggle is still not over for several crypto companies.
It can be remembered that international payment processor Stripe denied Lamassu mainly because the word Bitcoin is seen on their website. Lamassu is looking to start 2019 in an optimistic manner.
First Luzern Cypherpunx meetup Jan 18, 2019! Venue to be announced soon.
— Luzern Cypherpunx (@LUCPunx) December 30, 2018