The crypto winter appears to be not going away soon in the new year. There is however some movement in the Bitcoin ATM industry. The concept of a Bitcoin ATM appears cool, and a way towards mass adoption in countries where it is legal. Such as El Salvador or The Bahamas. However, in top ranks of countries with maximum Bitcoin ATMs, there are two new entrants. Spain and Australia have overtaken El Salvador to occupy the second and third positions.
The drive to install ATMs in El Salvador, which as adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, began in 2021 with an initiative by its President. Over 200 Bitcoin ATMs were installed, propelling the country to the third rank.
As the year 2022 came to a close, Australia went ahead and placed 99 Bitcoin ATMs, as per a report in Forbes. As per the report, out of 38,602 ATMs, 6,071 were set up last year alone – around 15%.
Unlike conventional ATMs, a Bitcoin ATM may not allow withdrawals, and only purchases can be made using cash.
Here are the top 10 countries with the largest number of Bitcoin ATMs as per the online tracker Coinatmradar.com:
- United States (33950 locations)
- Canada (2649 locations)
- Spain (273 locations)
- Australia (225 locations)
- Poland (222 locations)
- El Salvador (212 locations)
- Switzerland (155 locations)
- Romania (151 locations)
- Hong Kong (145 locations)
- Austria (126 locations)
- Germany (97 locations)
Russia is in focus for its interest in cryptocurrencies arising out of sanctions, but has 53 Bitcoin ATM locations. Nigeria, with its own CBDC, has only two. The Bahamas is not listed and does not appear to have a Bitcoin ATM.
India is listed on the Coinatmradar site with two locations in Delhi and Gurugram. These are Lamassu branded ATMs with open-source software and ship from Portugal. Lamassu Bitcoin ATMs were launched in 2013. It’s recently launched series is Tejo that can handle 3,000 notes. There are over a hundred other manufacturers of Bitcoin ATMs, the more popular being BitAccess, General Bytes, Genesis Coin and Bitstop.
Strangely, Singapore, known to be a top ranking crypto-friendly country for startups and businesses, does not have any Bitcoin ATM as per the Coinatmradar listing. Japan too, among the first to legalize cryptocurrencies, has only three operational Bitcoin ATMs.
It can be concluded that ATMs – a small kiosk where one can buy Bitcoin or other crypto by depositing cash – aren’t yet a popular way to buy Bitcoin, as countries that have adopted or legalized crypto or created a friendly regulatory environment aren’t making any major push for installing Bitcoin ATMs.
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