The Decline of Bitcoin ATMs: A Changing Landscape

The Decline of Bitcoin ATMs: A Changing Landscape

The year 2023 marked a significant turning point for Bitcoin ATMs worldwide. As Bitcoin continued its record-breaking streak, the number of kiosks offering the convenience of acquiring cryptocurrencies using cash or debit cards experienced a noticeable decline. According to data from Coin ATM Radar, the total count of crypto ATMs dwindled from 37,827 on January 1, 2023, to 33,628 on January 1, 2024. This decline of approximately 11.1% within a year was unprecedented, signaling a shift in the trend that had been observed for over a decade.

For years, the installed Bitcoin ATMs had exhibited an annual uptrend, consistently growing at the beginning of each year. Coin ATM Radar, which began tracking the data in October 2013, reported an all-time high of 39,376 ATMs in August 2022. This figure reflected the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies and the acceptance of crypto ATMs as a reliable means of acquiring digital assets. However, the year 2023 deviated from this historical norm.

Among the countries affected by the decline, the United States, home to 82% of all crypto ATMs globally, experienced a substantial drop in its ATM count. Throughout 2023, the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the US decreased by 15.4%, falling from 32,672 to 27,631. This substantial decrease had significant implications for the global count of installed crypto ATMs.

Coin ATM Radar’s data indicates that a prominent crypto ATM manufacturer, BitAccess, may have played a role in the overall decline. The company witnessed a significant decrease in net installations, with a decline of 26% from 9,160 in August 2022 to 6,774 on January 1, 2024. BitAccess’s diminishing presence in the market likely contributed to the downward trend observed in the number of crypto ATMs worldwide.

The year 2023 was not without its fair share of unusual cases related to Bitcoin ATMs. One incident involved a 51-year-old resident of Jefferson City, Missouri, named Matthew Klinger. He confessed to shooting a Bitcoin ATM with a handgun, stating his motive was to prevent the machine from taking money from others. This bizarre act resulted in a five-year supervised probation sentence for Klinger.

Another unusual case involved Lux Vending, operating as Bitcoin Depot, initiating legal action against the sheriff’s office of McLennan County, Texas. The lawsuit alleged that authorities unlawfully seized $15,000 from a Bitcoin ATM. These funds were intended to compensate an elderly victim who had fallen victim to an online crypto scam. However, Bitcoin Depot’s situation took a positive turn when the company went public on the Nasdaq on July 3. Additionally, it expanded its operations to the 28th US state and reported a revenue increase of 3% year-on-year, reaching $179.5 million in Q3 2023.

While the US experienced a slowdown in Bitcoin ATM installations, other countries witnessed contrasting trends. Australia, Canada, Spain, and Poland saw steady growth in the number of Bitcoin ATMs throughout 2023. This indicates that the decline observed globally was not uniform, with different regions experiencing varying levels of success.

The Expanding Manufacturers

Despite the overall decrease in the number of Bitcoin ATMs, two major manufacturers, General Bytes and Genesis Coin, continued to expand their installations throughout the year. These manufacturers played a crucial role in maintaining a positive growth trajectory for Bitcoin ATMs in certain regions worldwide.

The decline of Bitcoin ATMs in 2023 disrupted the historical uptrend observed in previous years. The impact was particularly notable in the United States, where the number of crypto ATMs experienced a significant decrease. However, this decline was not uniform globally, as other countries saw steady growth in Bitcoin ATM installations. With the continued expansion of manufacturers such as General Bytes and Genesis Coin, the landscape of Bitcoin ATMs may undergo further changes in the future.


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