Bitcoin ATMs have reached an important milestone, just about 6 years after the first ATM was installed in Vancouver.
October 29, 2013 saw the first ever Bitcoin ATM machine installed in a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver. Fast forward to just under 6 years later, the number of Bitcoin ATM machines worldwide has passed the 5,000 mark according to Coin ATM Radar. Over the last few months, there was an average of about 6 Bitcoin ATMs being installed daily. Most of the Bitcoin ATMs are located in the United States with over 3200 machines in the country. North America as a whole is home to over 70% of the world’s Bitcoin ATMs and this shows that although a major milestone has been reached, there is a large untapped market across the world where ATM machines dispensing the cryptocurrency are yet to be introduced.
This milestone has been reached at a time when the cryptocurrency is performing very well on the markets and has generated renewed interest from investors, old and new. Bitcoin trading became the subject of conversation in the crypto world after the coin surpassed the $10,000 mark. It is interesting to note that ATM installations were at their highest during the period when Bitcoin was experiencing a slump in its market value. From December 2017 when the price of Bitcoin fell, over 3000 ATMs have been installed, accounting for about 60% of the total number of ATMs in existence.
The Negative Press Around Bitcoin ATMs
The milestone reached by Bitcoin ATMs comes at a time when there is increased concern about cryptocurrencies and their use in fraudulent activity. There have been cases where Bitcoin ATMs have been used by scammers and fraudsters to force victims to pay ransoms or as a way to run a scam. This has attracted a lot of negative conversation around the ATMs and there is growing skepticism around cryptocurrencies as a whole. In countries such as India and Russia, there are cases in which they have been seized by the authorities.
How do Bitcoin ATMs work?
Bitcoin ATMs function by allowing a person to purchase the cryptocurrency using cash or debit cards. Some of the machines also allow a person to sell any Bitcoin in their possession for cash. A person needs to have an existing account for them to be able to transact at a Bitcoin ATM. If one is in possession of Bitcoin and they are in a location where a device has been installed, they are enabled access to their coins in real time which gives users of the cryptocurrency renewed convenience and ease of access. Trading cryptocurrencies is made far much easier through these devices.
It is without a doubt that Bitcoin is here to stay and the cryptocurrency is only growing in strength and popularity. This, coupled with the growth around the blockchain industry as a whole, shows that Bitcoin and its ATMs are going to become more widespread. For those who buy Bitcoin, increased ease of access to their investment will continue to be availed.