The number of bitcoin automated teller machines (ATMs) has surged in accordance with the development of the cryptocurrency industry. The first such machine saw the light of day in October 2013. Needless to say, the industry has expanded by leaps and bounds since then, propelling massive interest and, in turn, more ATMs.
Currently, there are 39,678 such devices spread across 84 countries, with over 85% located in the United States of America.
An Overlook of the Map
According to the latest data, bitcoin ATMs are predominantly situated in North America. The world’s leading economy – the USA – is home to 34,298 of them, as their number is the highest in the country’s financial hubs – New York, Los Angeles, and Miami. The northern neighbor – Canada – ranks second with 2,704 ATMs.
The next to complete the top 5 are Spain (270), Poland (214), and El Salvador (212). It comes without surprise that the small Central American nation found its place among the leaders since it became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender.
It is worth observing the situation in Asia. The highest density of BTC ATMs is in the special administrative region of China – Hong Kong – where one could find 154 machines. For its part, Japan had zero devices on its territory for more than four years.
The domestic authorities shut all crypto ATMs at the beginning of 2018 when hackers attacked the digital asset platform Coincheck. In August this year, though, they softened their stance and allowed the installation of a few devices in Tokyo and Osaka.
Interestingly, Singapore, which aims to become a cryptocurrency hub, has no bitcoin ATMs. The nation’s top financial regulator – the MAS – banned the cash-to-crypto terminals as part of a broader crackdown on promoting digital currencies to the public at the beginning of the year.
Kazakhstan – the country that accounts for over 13% of the global mining hashrate – has only one BTC ATM, while Vietnam, the world’s crypto adoption leader, has five devices.
It goes without saying that China (where all cryptocurrency activities are forbidden) has zero machines.
The Advancement Throughout the Years
The first bitcoin ATM was installed on October 29, 2013, in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The second device saw the light of day on October 8, 2013, in Bratislava, Slovakia, while the USA had to wait until February 18, 2014, to have its first such machine (deployed in a cigar bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico).
The number of devices slowly grew to over 500 by the end of 2015, while in December 2017, they reached almost 2,000 worldwide.
The 2018 bear market ceased the rapid expansion of bitcoin ATMs, but their number started rising again in the following years. By the end of 2020, there were more than 12,600 crypto-automated teller machines worldwide.
Last year, when most digital currencies hit all-time high prices, crypto ATMs popped off. Over 20,000 of them were deployed in various countries, including struggling economies like Cambodia, Namibia, Venezuela, Lebanon, and more.
The prolonged crypto winter that has reigned for the bigger part of 2022 has slowed down the temps. As CryptoPotato reported, the first eleven months of the year have seen the installation of 6,100 new crypto ATMs or nearly three times less than what popped up during 2021.