Global crypto ATM transactions plummet in bear market

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Crypto ATMs have been consistently popping up across the world for years. In 2021, the market experienced its biggest growth rate — but in a crippling year for crypto, ATM installations have stalled while the number of transactions have plummeted, Bloomberg reports.

At the start of 2021, there were just over 14,000 crypto ATMs globally, according to Coin ATM Radar. At the top of 2022, it had jumped 146% to 34,400.

Since then, growth has comparatively plateaued. For the first time since 2018, numbers even dropped between August and September this year, by 440 ATMs.

Growth of crypto ATM installations over the years, via Coin ATM Radar.

Data shows that 796 crypto ATMs were removed during August, many in the United States. Europe and Canada bumped up the change by installing locally, resulting in a loss of 440. Since then, numbers have increased ever so slightly — the growth of bitcoin ATM installations have remained below 1%.

Transactions — the dollar amounts received by crypto ATMs — began to sharply fall in October 2021, from $329 million to $226 million by February 2022. Transactions then surged to $290 million in just a month, but consistently fell since June, back down to $230 million as of October 1. This reflects a major drop in value for business owners who host a crypto ATM, especially since some are paid a percentage of the revenue a unit generates.

Charts via Bloomberg.

Crypto ATM data suggests that transactions have dropped this year on par with a major decline in the crypto market. Yet regional factors and regulatory concerns are also at play — Singapore shut down all Bitcoin ATMs in January while Japan did a 180 and re-embraced them just two months ago. 

Read more: It’s a strange time for Japan to okay crypto ATMs but it has anyway

US crypto ATM market struggles

The US remains leader of the pack when it comes to crypto ATM distribution. It’s currently home to 87% of ATMs, just shy of 34,000 across the country. However, as noted by Bloomberg, many in the US get little or no use. One operator in the country, CoinCloud, owns about 5,000 ATMs. In November, it told Bloomberg it faced $125 million of debt racked up by aggressive expansion plans.

Its larger competitor Bitcoin Depot, which owns around 7,000, remains optimistic in the face of stagnating installations and nosediving transactions. It slowed down installations and is instead attempting to move machines to high-traffic spots.

“A lot of people are just trying to be conservative,” Brandon Mintz, its founder and chief exec, assured the outlet. “The company has remained unaffected by the fluctuations in the industry,” he added.

Bitcoin Depot plans to go public in the first quarter of 2023. The founder says he’s “comfortable” with its ability to repay debt.

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