The number of bitcoins (BTC-USD) ATM installations across the world have fallen to their lowest level since 2021, even as prices of most cryptocurrencies have rebounded this year, alternative data provider AltIndex said in a recent report.
Bitcoin (BTC-USD) ATMs (ATMs), also known as BTMs, are kiosks that allow customers to buy and sometimes also sell bitcoins with cash or a debit card. Designed to facilitate the conversion of cash to bitcoin, funds are transferred to the consumer’s digital wallet and are verified and recorded on the blockchain, a secure public ledger.
But the popularity of BTMs has lost ground since December, when the number of BTMs worldwide reached an all-time high, according to Wednesday’s report. The number of installations installed since then has fallen by 17%, to 32.5 thousand in October. In January 2020, before the pandemic led to a historic surge in cryptocurrency prices, the number of BTMs totaled just 6.36 thousand.
AltIndex attributed the decline to “market volatility observed over the past ten months and controversies over their potentially criminal use.”
To this end, the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has outlined a series of risks related to BTMs, ranging from “predatory inclusion” to money laundering, which could potentially affect consumers and future regulation.
“The relative anonymity of transactions, as well as the speed, convenience and irreversibility of converting cash into cryptocurrencies, make BTMs an ideal tool for money launderers,” the Kansas City Fed wrote in a statement. of August. article.
The United States, home to the largest number of BTMs, saw the largest decline in BTM installations. Last week, the world’s largest economy hosted 26.7K machines, up from 34.2K in December. Despite this, the United States has eighteen times more BTMs than Europe, which had around 1.5K. Asia has the fewest machines installed, less than 350.
Interestingly, the peak The surge in BTM installations late last year coincided with a broader downturn in the crypto market that led to a series of high-profile failures across the industry. It now appears that the BTM/crypto relationship has started to disconnect, with BTM installs down for the year despite higher crypto prices. Although Bitcoin (BTC-USD) itself has climbed 77.2% year to date, but is still down nearly 60% from its record highs.
Bitcoin deposit (BTM), which allows consumers to purchase bitcoin (BTC-USD) cash at over 3.5k locations, has seen its stock drop 73% year to date. However, Hal Goetsch, analyst at B. Riley, rated the stock a buycalling it “a way to express an investment vision for broader consumer adoption of Bitcoin without being highly correlated to cryptocurrency market price fluctuations.”