In yet another positive sign for bitcoin, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs available across the planet has just hit a significant milestone.
There are now more than 5,000 crypto ATMs across 76 countries, according to the latest figures from CoinATMRadar.
In the last two months, more than 6 new crypto ATMs have been installed each day around the world. The U.S., of course, makes up a significant share with 3,170 bitcoin ATMs, with the vast majority located in the New York and Los Angeles areas.
Elsewhere, Canada has 680, Austria has 263, and the U.K. ranks fourth with 244. And while some nations might only have a single crypto ATM within its borders, such as Albania, Aruba, Kenya, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe to name a few, the fact that they have one at all demonstrates the demand and growth of the market.
Ian Freeman, co-founder of the Bitcoin Embassy New Hampshire and host of the radio show Free Talk Live, sees these machines as one of the easiest and most convenient ways for people to get into crypto for the first time.
“Sure, people can sign up for an exchange and send a wire transfer and get a better price, but the know-your-customer requirements are a burden and the process to get started is long and frustrating,” said Freeman. “Crypto vending machines [a term used in Keene rather than ATMs] make it simple.”
Keene, New Hampshire, where Freeman resides, currently hosts a trio of crypto ATMs, the same number as currently installed in Tokyo—a city with a population of 9.3 million, compared to Keene’s 23,000.
The recent increase in crypto ATMs also reflects the larger trend in payments increasingly turning to digital, and the focus in this industry turning away from cash towards mobile, said Kurt Looyens, CEO of the Gibraltar Blockchain Exchange.
Looyens believes, however, that more needs to be done in order for these machines to remain attractive to consumers.
“The current economy in some countries may facilitate the need for cash-backed facilities like bitcoin ATMs, but in the digital future, these devices will have to drastically reduce fees and offer equitable conversion rates in order to compete,” he said.
In the meantime, though, the pace at which these machines are being installed worldwide doesn’t appear to be slowing down. And with new crypto enthusiasts looking for ways to enter the market, the timing couldn’t be better.