Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs are on the verge of crossing the 4,000 barrier worldwide, with the representing a major example of the steady growth of the asset class. According to data from Coin ATM Radar, the number of crypto ATMs stand at around the 3,900 mark globally, with the US leading the way, contributing around 2300 (60%).
As well as sole-purpose ATMs, there are also a staggering 141,000 other ways to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in person, from mobile payment terminals to traditional bank ATMs with built-in cryptocurrency functionality. This represents a near 4,000% rise since the launch of the first machine in 2013, with a growing number of countries trying out the terminals.
Africa Gets in on the Act
The data also reveals that Bitcoin ATMs are being installed at a rate of five per day, with the list of countries in which they are installed showing some interesting trends. It has long been suggested that Africa represents a perfect use case for cryptocurrency given the amount of people with a mobile phone but no bank account, supported by Binance’s recent move to Uganda which resulted in 40,000 users signing up in the first week. This increased interest is echoed in the installation of African Bitcoin ATMs, with users in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and even Djibouti now able to buy and sell the cryptocurrency.
Where Do We Go From Here?
The very first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver, Canada in November 2013, since then there has been an exponential rise in the number of sole-purpose machines installed worldwide, as the below graphic shows .
Crypto enthusiast John McAfee recently claimed that increased adoption could see Bitcoin hit a “conservative” $1 million by 2020. If ATM installations are anything to go by then he could be right, at least in sentiment if not in number, given that the amount of machines has doubled every year for the past three years in tandem with huge gains in the price. Should ATM installation and price action pattern to continue we would see 32,000 ATMs by the end of 2020 and a Bitcoin price of around $100,000, way off McAfee’s prediction but good news for adoption nonetheless.
Alternatively, we could be coming to the peak of a ‘hype cycle’ and the exponential rise in installations could be about to stall before plummeting. What happens to cryptocurrency ATMs from here could be a huge indicator of the attitude toward the asset class from the general public.