There is now some hard data to support the contention that bitcoin is being widely adopted for everyday use by real people in the real world. The number of bitcoin automatic teller machines (ATMs) more than doubled over the past year.
There were around 450 bitcoin ATMs in the world at the beginning of 2016 and 1,097 by April 2017, a survey by Coin ATM Radar indicates. Intriguingly those numbers are probably an under count because they only include the numbers, Coin ATM Radar is aware of, Cointelegraph reported.
Some highlights of Coin ATM Radar’s bitcoin ATM census include:
- 86 new bitcoin ATMs went online in February 2017.
- 53 bitcoin cash machines went live in March 2017.
- There are seven major manufacturers of bitcoin ATMs in the world. Genesis Coin is the largest with 513 ATM to its credit.
- Bitcoin machines are slowly spreading to new countries such as Russia where Bitlish units have appeared in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Russia is very receptive to bitcoin because its central bank has declared the currency a “surrogate alternative” to the declining rubble.
- There are 23 manufacturers of bitcoin ATMs.
- There are 207 known operators of bitcoin ATMs.
- Bitcoin ATMs can now be found in 56 countries.
- The United States has the most bitcoin ATMs with 752 in operation nationwide.
- Southern California is the most popular place for bitcoin ATMs there are 87 in the region.
- South Florida is also a hot bed with 49 bitcoin ATMs in the area.
- There 124 known bitcoin ATMs in operation in Europe. The most are in the United Kingdom which has 64.
- There’s lots of room for growth in the bitcoin ATM industry there are just six known machines on the entire continent of South America and three in the Middle East. There’s only one known bitcoin machine in all of Africa in Midrand, South Africa.
- There are no known bitcoin ATM machines in the People’s Republic of China or India.
The popularity of bitcoin ATMs demonstrates the cryptocurrency’s appeal to real people because they can be used to exchange it for cash. The growth in the number of machines is astounding considering the high fees charged for transactions usually around 8% to 10%, according to Cointelegraph.
My prediction is that the number of bitcoin ATMs will grow as cryptocurrencies become more popular. The biggest demand will be in countries like Russia that have unstable currencies, and in places like the United States where large numbers of people are effectively shut out of the banking system.
Bitcoin Clears $1,100 Again
Not coincidently bitcoin prices exceeded $1,100 again on April 2, 2017. On the morning of April 3, 2017, a bitcoin was trading at $1,141.79, according to Coinbase. As recently as March 25, bitcoins were trading at $952.11. That means bitcoin’s value increased by $189.68 or nearly $200 in less than a week.
One has wonder if this volatility is bitcoin’s natural state or if the cryptocurrency was simply returning to its natural price. All this indicates that a bitcoin ATM might be a good investment these days.