The number of cryptocurrency ATMs worldwide has significantly decreased this year, reaching levels not seen since 2021. According to data gleaned from CoinATMRadar.com, the biggest decline was in July, when an astounding 4,123 ATMs stopped working, seriously disrupting the market.
Presently, thousands of ATMs have become nonfunctional, the majority of which have faded into obscurity this year. CoinATMRadar.com listed 32,704 cryptocurrency ATMs globally as of mid-October. This figure is in sharp contrast to the all-time high of 39,353 units that was recorded in August 2022, indicating a sharp drop in the number of crypto ATMs — roughly 6,649 — that were formerly operational.
The first significant decline occurred in March 2023, which led to 3,568 units becoming obsolete. However, July witnessed an even steeper decline, with 4,123 machines being discontinued. A minor uptick in installations was observed in April and May following the March decline, and this pattern persisted after July’s setback. However, even with more new arrivals in October, the losses from July have not been made up for.
The count as of right now is 6,649 units below the August 2022 peak, or about in line with the November 2021 numbers. When it comes to the leading players in the crypto ATM market, Bitcoin Depot leads the pack with 6,306 ATMs, or 19.3% of all ATMs worldwide. Coinflip comes in second with 4,017 machines, while Bitstop comes in third with 2,753 units. Other players at the top include Athena Bitcoin, Coinhub and Rockitcoin.
More than 32,500 of the world’s crypto ATMs are built to accept Bitcoin, and 18,141 of those can also accept other digital currencies, including Bitcoin cash, litecoin, and ethereum. Furthermore, 2,208 units handle transactions in Circle’s USDC, while 3,586 units serve Tether (USDT) users.
One contributing factor to this decline is the controversy surrounding the potential misuse of these machines for illicit activities. For example, there have been cases of con artists using websites such as eBay to trick customers into using crypto ATMs to deposit money into prearranged cryptocurrency wallets. The con artists disappear as soon as the money is deposited, leaving the customers in the dark.
According to Bitcoin Depot CEO and founder, Brandon Mintz, operators pulling down unproductive ATMs or going out of business altogether may also be to blame for the decline in cryptocurrency ATMs. Mintz sees this trend as an opportunity for his business to increase its market share through the acquisition of more ATMs and a greater presence in more retail spaces.
Given the recent crypto winter, it isn’t surprising that ATMs serving crypto users have declined. But, as entities such as Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA) see BTC and other major cryptocurrencies start climbing in price, it is only a matter of time before ATM activity grows again.
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