Bitcoin ATMs Are Taking Over America: Here’s Why

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America is the home of Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs). Of the 35,000 BTMs worldwide, a whopping 31,000 are located in the USA in 2022. By total number of BTMs, the next biggest country would be Canada, at around 2,000. The USA has over 90% of the world’s BTMs. 

Clearly, there has been a huge growth in demand for crypto assets. Most of this growth has taken place in the last couple of years. In 2022, the number of BTM machines doubled from about 6,300 to 13,900. An even more significant increase took place in 2023, with the number jumping from 13,900 to over 30,000. 

This rate of growth is phenomenal. Let’s examine why BTMs are taking over America. 

Top Reasons For BTM Growth In America 

The most obvious reason behind BTM growth in America would have to do with the wider acceptance of cryptocurrency. NFTs have taken over the culture, and celebrities like Matt Damon, Martha Stewart, Elon Musk, Kevin O'Leary, and Jack Dorsey have all endorsed such products year after year. 

Crypto businesses are increasingly having a strong online presence too. Many people are eager to gain access to the new asset class. 

After seeing such support from prominent figures, it stands to reason that business owners and entrepreneurs would want to intelligently position themselves for the future. BTMs are lined up to completely replace legacy ATMs, creating a giant market and a great way to provide a service and make a profit. 

A more interesting question is: Why America? The answer is because the regulations, technology, and market are all in place, and the finance is available. The USA has always been a top place for entrepreneurs and for financial innovation. 

On the other hand, in China, crypto is banned for use and BTC mining may become restricted. In places like India, people typically do not have the capital to invest and there are potential Indian cryptocurrency bans or restrictions coming up. 

Some could contend that Europe would be an option, but it only has a little over 1,400 BTMs. This is due to the fact that recently passed regulation (MiFID II) has made it very difficult to retain profits with BTMs. The maximum amount of purchase without KYC is only €150. In the USA, it’s$900. 

Advantages Of BTMs 

The Bitcoin ATM allows easy access to cryptocurrencies. Because people are mainly familiar with legacy ATMs, switching to a cryptocurrency machine that follows a similar model should be quite smooth. And unlike online exchanges and peer-to-peer transactions, purchasing cryptocurrency through BTMs is extremely safe. 

BTM owners have significant AML and compliance procedures to adhere to. There are severe penalties for non-compliance. BTMs also come with KYC measures built-in and with an easy step-by-step process for purchase. Your funds will not get stolen from a Bitcoin ATM. But it's easy to fall prey to hacks and scams if you go online and aren’t mindful of the risks involved. 

BTMs are often placed in convenient locations such as coffee shops, restaurants, malls, and cinemas. These areas see significant amounts of foot traffic from younger generations, who are more likely to want to make a BTM transaction. Business owners benefit if they have an existing premise that already caters to this demographic. Accepting crypto at the cashier’s register and also offering a means to purchase it nearby could be useful marketing techniques. 

Bitcoin ATMs can be either unidirectional or bidirectional. A bidirectional BTM means that you can both buy and sell cryptocurrency. A unidirectional BTM only allows you to purchase cryptocurrency. According to Crypto Dispensers, when you withdraw Bitcoin, it means you are exchanging your BTC for cash. You can’t withdraw Bitcoin physically because it’s virtual. 

The Future Of Bitcoin ATMs 

Alongside the growth of BTMs are many other promising innovations. Legacy ATMs are becoming Bitcoin-enabled. This means that, over the next 10 - 15 years, they will cater to both crypto and traditional fiat before eventually being phased out. This is a great way to generate trust and compliance, as the AML features of the fiat system are well established and could be neatly applied to cryptocurrencies. 

While the outlook remains bright, there are still numerous hurdles to be overcome for BTC ATM use. It’s taken a long time to get some legislation on Bitcoin, and there are still thousands of other coins, not to mention NFTs and other Web 3.0 products. Legacy finance is being disrupted, but slowly. Bitcoin ATMs have certainly proliferated in the USA, as shown by the market trends that have signaled the public’s surge in interest. Despite this proliferation, when it comes to Bitcoin ATM adoption and the widespread acceptance of new kinds of tokens, we may only be at the beginning.

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