In the year 2019, the number of crypto ATMs grew by 56%. This is according to a tweet posted on January 1st, 2020, by CoinATMRadar, which revealed that the number of BTC ATMs around the world was at 4,102 one year ago.
Currently, that number has grown to 6,387. In January 2018, the number of ATMs was three times smaller, sitting at only 2,058 of them world-wide.
While this does not necessarily mean that crypto adoption is surging at the same rate, it will undoubtedly help make cryptocurrency feel normal after people start passing by ATMs every day.
The majority of Bitcoin ATMs are still located in the US. The nation boasts an impressive 4,221 machines, an increase from 2,296 the previous year. Interestingly, not all countries increased their number of BTC trading terminals. Austria, for example, started 2019 with 258 Bitcoin ATMs and ended the year with just 184.
The rising number of Bitcoin ATMs does not give any indication about the machines’ actual usage, and, unfortunately, the excessive trading fees often charged certainly limit the utility of these machines.
Why this is good for crypto adoption
The proliferation of Bitcoin ATM machines is beneficial to the cryptocurrency industry. Most people are ignorant of what Bitcoin even is, and there is still a stigma around the digital currency because of its initial associations with criminality.
Bitcoin ATMs move the cryptocurrencies from occasional appearances on the news about money laundering or online drug dealing and into various businesses around the world.
Repeated exposure to BTC in this fashion will serve to familiarize further those seeing the devices with Bitcoin and other crypto coins, whether they actually use them or not.
The very presence of machines is considered to be beneficial for the crypto industry, as they raise awareness of digital currencies, and allow people to get used to the concept of digital money.
IRS looks into BTC ATMs
As the number of Bitcoin ATMs across the world seemingly increases, so does the Internal Revenue Service‘s (IRS) focus on them.
According to a report by Bloomberg law in November 2019, criminal investigators at the IRS are “very” focused on the potential tax implications raised by cryptocurrency kiosks and ATMs.
Cryptocurrency ATMs have often come under scrutiny as a potential vehicle for criminals to launder funds.
Moreover, businesses often have difficulties with obtaining local city permits for Bitcoin ATMs, which is why they are usually installed in private establishments.