Automated teller machines that provide cryptocurrency-related services have once again shown exponential growth across the globe. In the United States alone, the increase was a whopping 25% over the past six months from June to December 2022. Specifically, 40,000 Crypto ATMs now serve the U.S., from the 32,000 units of the previous figure.
The Titanic Demand Surge
The establishment of crypto ATMs goes as far back as the early 2010’s. However, even as the year 2020 came, there were technically only 4,000 operational crypto ATMs in the United States. As such, the two-year gap that represents a 1000% growth rate of its development is nothing short of incredible.
This massive trend was, of course, affected by many different factors. First, is the continued distrust towards long-standing banking institutions, who have inevitably failed both investors and the common folk some ten years ago prior to the crypto ATM boom. Second, is the growing consciousness of the population to blockchain and its technologies. Many viewed cryptocurrency as a better alternative given its decentralized nature.
Naturally, this acceptance and use of crypto in everyday life then evolved the need for crypto users to be able to access their assets and convert them into fiat currency. Crypto ATMs then cater specifically to that need.
While cryptocurrency gained more mainstream acceptance and even governmental assistance in other countries, the United States remains the country with the biggest number of crypto ATMs. The tally as of December 2022 is around 34,000 units, which is 85% of the total, and centered around areas like New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
The next countries with the highest number of crypto ATMs are:
- Canada – representing 2,700 units, which is 6.7%, incidentally the second highest on the official database.
- Spain – despite only having 7% of its population investing in crypto, Spain manages to be the third, at 270 units, or 0.67% of the total crypto ATMs in the world.
- Poland and El Salvador – represent 214 and 212 crypto ATM units respectively (both 0.5%). The Polish government doesn’t exactly consider cryptocurrency as legal tender-viable, requiring rigorous documentation when presenting financial reports. El Salvador, on the other hand, did the exact opposite, declaring Bitcoin as legal tender on September 2021.
- Hong Kong – currently has 154 machines, equivalent to 0.3% of the world total.
The acceptance of cryptocurrency, and therefore the establishment and use of crypto ATMs, have been the point of contention for several countries due to various reasons. China, for example, denounced blockchain technology in general due to its non-regulatory nature. Japan is still reeling from its infamous Coincheck hack disaster of 2018, and has only decided to reestablish crypto ATMs very recently last mid-2022 through Gaia Co. Ltd.
Even Singapore, supposedly a leading nation in economic development, doesn’t have any crypto ATMs. Top financial regulator MAS has banned such machines as part of its campaign to stymie the promotion of such digital currencies.
What to Expect from Now
Needless to say, the general consensus of most analysts is that we’re not even at the height of cryptocurrency development yet. By 2030, at least, it is expected that the cryptocurrency market size is expected to increase by $11.71 billion, effectively ten times than it was last 2020 ($1.49 billion). During that period, it is easy to conclude that more crypto ATMs are going to cater to even more users in different countries around the world.
Indeed, the crypto ATM market specifically is already on the path towards a compound annual growth of more than 60% from 2022 to 2030. This includes the hardware segment, and all the companies that will be included in the development chain for building physical crypto ATMs. After all, such machines will require displays, printers, scanners, dispensers, and custom-built computers.
The most important industry that would steer its economic course would be the retail space. Institutions such as Walmart and Target will be a rich source of circulation revenue for these machines, as more and more people understand and become aware of cryptocurrency as a whole.
All that, in a span of only 15 years from crypto ATMs’ first huge milestone: the existence of 500 units in that fateful year of 2015.