Banking Struggle Drives Bitcoin ATM Manufacturer Lamassu to Switzerland
While governments and banks in some countries are trying to hamper the development of cryptocurrency-related businesses, other locations are cashing in on the investments and new jobs that the industry brings. The latest example of this is the establishment of bitcoin ATM manufacturer Lamassu in Switzerland.
Lamassu Industries AG
Lamassu, the well-known cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer, which assembles its machines in Portugal, announced on Jan. 1 that after years of searching for a home, it is now officially Lamassu Industries AG of Lucerne, Switzerland. The reason given for choosing the Alpine country is a more welcoming environment for crypto-related businesses, in contrast to other locations where the company struggled to maintain a bank account, leaving it bankless for the past year.
“We must have been rejected by 15 banks just because we manufacture terminals for bitcoin. Note that as a company we only manufacture hardware and take no part in trading or storing cryptocurrencies,” explained Lamassu co-founder Zach Harvey. “Just as we arrived in Switzerland we had a nice chat with a small bank in Canton Aargau and now we have a full account at a bank that is completely aware of our business model and happy to have us on board. In fact, you should expect to see one of our cryptomats in their headquarters early this year.”
Welcome to Switzerland
Despite some difficulties, Switzerland’s approach in offering “a place where rules are well defined and regulators are pro-innovation,” has been quite successful so far in attracting crypto entrepreneurs. According to a report from October 2018, the top 50 cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies in the local version of Silicon Valley alone were worth $44 billion combined, and altogether cryptocurrency firms employ about 3,000 people in the country of just about 8.5 million people.
“Crypto Valley is alive and kicking and we’re excited to be in an area so rich in crypto development and blockchain events,” stated Harvey. “Although hype often exceeds reality in cryptoland, exciting stuff is happening in Switzerland at every level.”
As its first community project, the Lamassu team is starting a monthly meetup dedicated to ideas of privacy, free speech, free markets, decentralization and cryptoanarchy.
Will major countries eventually acknowledge that they are losing business due to unwelcoming behavior by banks? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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