Global Bitcoin ATMs penetration per person surges 15x in five years

17 Feb, 2021 CryptoParrot

As the cryptocurrency sector continues to mature, the number of Bitcoin ATMs has been increasing significantly. The spike in ATMs is parallel to the asset's surge in value. 

Data presented by cryptocurrency trading simulator Crypto Parrot indicates that as of February 2021, the number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide had grown by 129.48% in the last 12 months from 6,759 to 15,511.  

Our findings further reveal that as of February 2021, based on a global population of 7.8 billion, one Bitcoin ATM would serve 505,856 people. The figure represents a Bitcoin ATM penetration growth by 15.65 times from 2017 where one machine served 7.8 million people. We have also calculated the global Bitcoin ATMs penetration per 100,000 citizens where in 2017 the figure was at 0.0126 while in 2021 it’s at 0.1977. 



Drivers of Bitcoin ATM growth

The significant growth in the number of Bitcoin ATMs reflects various factors that fuel the growing interest in Bitcoin. Most specifically, the growing interest from retail buyers and financial institutions, economic uncertainty resulting from the pandemic, rising inflation, currency devaluation due to money printing spree to cater for stimulus packages and increased remittance of funds to developing countries. 

In 2020, some institutions like Tesla and MicroStrategy converted a significant amount from their cash reserves to Bitcoin, triggering the current bull run that has seen the asset hit a new all-time high of $49,000. Additionally, payment giants PayPal and Mastercard announced their entry into the cryptocurrency space. In return, manufacturers of ATMs anticipated an increased interest from retail investors who did not want to miss out on the bull run. 

The pandemic also played a key role that resulted in a significant shift towards contactless payments. This is a reflection that Bitcoin is rising as a form of payment, and during the health crisis, most people resorted to cashless payments in a bid to curb the spread of the virus. 

Bitcoin ATMs are also playing a vital role in adopting the asset as the cryptocurrency sector matures. There has been an influx of new investors acquiring Bitcoin with ATMs capitalizing on this surge. The ATMs have made it easier to own Bitcoin as they are characterized by simplicity and personalized service. In general, these ATMs have an edge over competitors due to speed and ease of use as people do not need to be tech-savvy to operate a machine.  

Bitcoin ATMs boosting financial inclusion 

With the increase in Bitcoin ATMs, the machines are becoming increasingly accessible to most people. This is a boast to cryptocurrency proponents who believe the sector will unlock the global unbanked population's potential. Bitcoin ATMs are therefore offering a perfect opportunity to enhance financial inclusion. 

At this point, the potential of Bitcoin ATMs reaching more people is high were not for stringent government regulations. Some countries still prohibit trading cryptocurrencies hence restraining the sector's growth


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