Bitcoin ATM’s have sprung up all around the world found mainly in convenience stores, smoke shops, gas stations, etc. There are now a total of 2243 BTMs (Bitcoin ATMs) in total, with the United States leading the way with 76.91% of all BTM’s. The majority of BTMs are one-way kiosks that offer only USD to BTC transactions, yet two-way kiosks are becoming more common and many are beginning to add altcoin transactions.
Their purpose? To make Bitcoin and altcoin buying more accessible and convenient. With many exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance taking weeks to even months to get approved on, BTMs are advantageous because verification takes on average 15 minutes. Another downside to exchanges such as Coinbase is that they may take up to 7 days to deliver your coins, and anyone keeping up with crypto price fluctuations will know that a lot can happen in 7 days. Buying BTC with cash, on the other hand, takes no more than an hour or two.
So, what are the drawbacks? Well, they suffer the same drawbacks as a regular ATM: higher fees. Yet, the reason you would use an ATM in a gas station, over going to your bank provider, is for convenience. The same applies to buying a bottle of water at a convenience store over buying a pack of waters at a grocery store. Generally, you pay more for convenience and ease.
As the question of mainstream accessibility becomes more prevalent in the crypto-space, Bitcoin ATMs look to resolve the issue. It doesn’t matter if the price of Bitcoin is $20k or $5k, the BTM market continues to see explosive growth with Bitcoin Depot leading the way as the fastest growing BTM company nationwide.
“From its high of $20,000, Bitcoin has fallen precipitously to its recent low of $7,848 (CMC spot) — a 60% correction in 2 weeks… Some investors are weathering the storm confidently while others have jumped ship. One group has proven resilient despite market conditions, however: Bitcoin ATM providers. Installations have gone parabolic over past weeks/months.” Said Creighton Piper from Crypto Answers.
According to CoinATMRadar.com, Bitcoin ATM Installations have risen from 0 to over 2,200 BTMs worldwide in the course of 4 years (2014-2018).
In fact, BTMs installations are outpacing regular ATM installations with 8 new installations a day. From initially reaching 1,000 BTM installations back in October of 2017, to more than 2,000 BTMs in 5 months. Bitcoin Depot, to compare, had a 55% increase of installed BTMs in 2017, and have already surpassed 100 BTMs nationwide in 2018.
So, what’s in store for the future of BTMs? Well, many of the locations that have a Bitcoin ATM are experiencing increased traffic to their store. Businesses that have in general mentioned Bitcoin, blockchain, or anything crypto related to their name have seen an increase in attention and sometimes profits. This will lead the way for franchises to partner up with Bitcoin ATM companies, looking to have mass scale installations for many or all their locations. We could eventually see a BTM in every pharmacy, mall, convenience store, gas station, you name it.
With such explosive growth, it won’t be long until other businesses start turning their attention towards the BTM market. Will it be another explosive year for Bitcoin? Most importantly, will the ATM business be affected by the price of Bitcoin, or will they continue to resist Bitcoins trend and continue their moon-ward trajectory? Regardless, Bitcoin ATMs look to play an important role in the progression of making Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies the currency of the future.