In a world of fiat currencies, ATMs have long proven their worth in debit acceptance and cash withdrawal on the go. Now, with Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies hot on everybody’s lips, Bitcoin ATMs have become an important entity of the present and certainly a thing for the future. Emphasizing on it is the latest analysis from Coinatmradar, that reveals that the number of installed and operational Bitcoin ATMs worldwide have exceeded 3,500 in number. This comes as a milestone for crypto all over the world, amidst persistent criticism and not gaining universal acceptance as of monetary value, it is still a giant leap towards a great future for cryptocurrencies where investors and market analysts foresee Bitcoin competing toe to toe with fiat currencies.
The report from Coinatmradar, which is a leading source in keeping track of worldwide Bitcoin ATMs in every corner and locality of the world, shows that the recent slum in Bitcoin prices has not had much affect on the installation of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide. A Bitcoin ATM allows users to make transactions such that they can buy Bitcoins in exchange for cash. This serves as one of the basic principles of cryptocurrency of treating money as a commodity. Although Bitcoin transactions through ATM services might be costlier than online ones, as the cost of maintenance and setup of an ATM is high along with the application cost that includes for all steps needed to transfer Bitcoins in exchange for money with no particular authority overseeing the transaction.
The first step in making a Bitcoin ATM transaction is the identification, which the ATM then validates. Then the user feeds in some cash and generates a QR code from his wallet and finally, the user sends the Bitcoins to the presented address. Further, there are two types of Bitcoin ATMs. The simpler ones, that only allow the user to purchase Bitcoins and the complex ones, enabling user to both buy and sell virtual currencies.
According to research, the main manufacturers of the Bitcoin ATMs were Genesis Coin and General Bytes, with 33.69 percent and 26.89 percent of the market share respectively, by April 2018. The analytical research from the authority also shows that the up to date number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide is just above 3,500 at 3,503, at the time of this article being pressed. Out of these 3,503, around 1,846 support Altcoins which makes a rough 52.7% while 49% and 32.1% supporting Litecoin and Ether, respectively. The number of ATMs worldwide have increased drastically at a rate of more than twice in the space of a year, as the reported number was at the 1,000 mark in early 2017 which comes as proof of the big strides Bitcoin has been taking in the past year.
Another point worth noting came from the research which showed that the most number of ATMs were located in North America. The Northern Americas keep their spot as the nation with the most Bitcoin ATMs with the total number of ATMs installed in the States amounting to 2,594 which constitutes about 74.05% of the total number worldwide. Next in line, by a country mile, followed Europe – where the United Kingdom and Austria dominate Bitcoin ATM localities and lastly, the number stretched to Russia and Czech Republic. This, compared to analysis in 2016, when the worldwide number of Bitcoin ATMs was just around 800 and the Americans owned around 517 of them. The genesis of these came from a Bitcoin machine that was made live on October 29, 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. Later in 2013, the first Bitcoin ATM was housed in D Casino, Las Vegas.
Texas-based Coinsource, one of a growing number of companies in the Bitcoin ATM space, offers users a simple way to buy or sell bitcoins for cash through their machines. Founded in 2016 and touted as the largest Bitcoin ATM network in the U.S., the company’s mission is simple: Provide customer support at a level where the purchase or sale of bitcoins is as simple as withdrawing or depositing fiat from a traditional ATM. CEO and founder of Coinsource, Sheffield Clark, despite the rapid global expansion of these machines, doesn’t view this as an affront to the prevailing banking industry:
No, I actually don’t see it as a threat. I believe we need to live in a world where fiat and cryptocurrency both exist. We don’t see cryptocurrency as a takeover identity but only as a convenient alternative.
This comes as welcome thoughts, especially in a period where Bitcoin prices have been suffering since the start of the year. The biggest drop was recorded in February, where it fell below $7,000 which was a downfall of almost 50 percent. Despite the price slump, manufacturers have continued to install new crypto ATMs. Earlier in May, when the total number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide was 3,052, the installation rate was little around 5.88 crypto ATMs per day which has increased by a bullish 66% to fall at 8.91 Bitcoin ATMs per day. The data also shows that Bitcoin is still the dominant cryptocurrency in the world. About 99.9 percent of all the machines installed around the globe support bitcoin, while 52.7 percent support altcoins, with litecoin being the most popular.
This manifold increase in the number of crypto ATMs built monthly, despite the slump in prices proves to be a great encouragement for crypto traders and ATM services. It also shows high usability of the Bitcoin ATMs and popularity among users. Barring high transaction fee, it provides a viable solution for all kinds of crypto traders to buy and sell currency on the go and could prove to be an excellent mediator in the general acceptance of cryptos, worldwide.