As of next month you will be able to buy cryptocurrency Dash at Austrian petrol stations.
Austria has had Bitcoin cash machines since 2014, and three years ago Bitcoinbon pioneered a system where you could buy Bitcoin via prepaid cards at 4,000 of the country’s petrol stations and tobacconists.
The method is similar to that used for topping up mobile phones or Amazon balances: cards contain a code, which may be redeemed for cryptocurrency. Last year Ethereum and Litecoin were added to the scheme, and as of April, Dash will be available too.
Bitcoinbon is a project from Austrian crypto-broker Coinfinity. As well as via pre-paid cards, Dash will be available through their online services.
Dash has targeted different geographic locations than the usual crypto-hotspots. It has made significant progress in Venezuela, and through its Dash Embassy D-A-CH outreach programme, founded earlier this year, has been raising awareness in German-speaking central Europe.
For Dash Embassy D-A-CH founder Jan Meyer, the new development is “an important step in the right direction”. He said he was “delighted that Coinfinity has chosen to offer… a cryptocurrency targeting point-of-sale as an alternative to cash”.
Austria is a useful beachhead for cryptocurrencies targeting Europe due to its EU membership and more relaxed regulatory environment. Unlike in Germany, the Austrian Financial Market Authority does not require private companies to obtain a banking licence before setting up ATMs or prepaid cards.
Meyer hopes that the Austrian model can one day be exported to its larger neighbour. “We would welcome it if German regulators were prepared to discuss models with us and providers such as Coinfinity”, he said, adding that together they could “find solutions that would allow the legal acquisition of Dash and other cryptocurrencies” while also satisfying “regulatory or security concerns”.
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