The amount of Bitcoin ATM’s has surged over the last couple of years, hitting 10,000 this year. The average growth over the last 7 years, is about 167 % per year. Even during a worldwide pandemic, Bitcoin ATM’s keep popping up.
How do Bitcoin ATM’s work?
When we think of ATM’s, we think of machines where we can grab or leave physical cash. Bitcoin is a virtual coin, so you cannot get physical bank notes or coins from a Bitcoin ATM.
1 Bitcoin is worth around 10,000 US dollars, so carrying one around would be quite the risk. How many times have you lost a penny? Well, exactly. You do not want to lose a coin with the value of a small car.
But then how does it work, you ask?
At a Bitcoin ATM, also known as a BTM, you can transfer cash money or money on your credit or debit card for an amount of asset in Bitcoin. Often they work vice versa as well.
There is a transaction cost to take into account when using a BTM, depending on the machine but usually around 10 US dollars. On top of that, there is the transaction cost of your Bitcoin wallet as well to take into account.
Depending on the BTM you’re using and/or the amount of money being transferred, you will have to identify yourself by scanning your ID.
The uprise of BTM’s
As you can clearly see on the graph below, the number of Bitcoin ATM’s is growing increasingly. According to a Norwegian research, the amount of Bitcoin ATM’s has grown with 167 % per year on average, over the last 7 years. In 2020, we hit 10 000 ATM’s.
This year alone, about 4,000 extra Bitcoin ATM’s have been placed worldwide amid the worldwide coronavirus crisis. This amounts to a growth of 158 %.
Bitcoin ATM installations growth – source: CoinATMradar
Dispersion of BTM’s around the world
The clear winner with the highest amount of BTM’s is the United States of America with a whopping 7,955 as we speak (and growing with about 50 BTM’s per day). Other countries with a large amount of BTM’s are Canada (877), Austria (152) and Spain (105). Belgium, my own country of residence, has 30 BTM’s. Quite a lot for such a small country!
Back to the United States. BTM’s in the United States are quite widespread, but most of them can be found in Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia and Houston. The graph below shows the dispersion of BTM’s in the United States.
BTM’s in the Untied States – Source: CoinATMradar
Genesis holds the most Bitcoin ATM’s
The most commonly used BTM is the Genesis Coin ATM, responsible for 35 % of all Bitcoin ATM’s. Genesis Coin ATM’s are produced in the United States. This may explain why there are so many Bitcoin ATM’s in the United States. General Bytes is a close second with a share of about 30 % of the Bitcoin ATM’s.
These developments are quite exciting. When will we hit 20,000? It might be sooner than you think!