On October 29th, 2013, the first Bitcoin (BTC) Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was installed at a coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Canada recording about 348 transactions worth over $100,000 in its first week of operation. Nine years down the line the number of BTC ATMs globally has reached 38,804, with the United States with the largest population.
Robocoin which operated the first BTC ATM is no longer in operation and there is a likelihood that the ATM has been removed or replaced. However, the number of ATMs has increased greatly according to data from Coin ATM Radar. The U.S houses 88% of the world’s supply of crypto ATMs and 90% of the newly installed BTC ATMs in the last few months.
Specifically, out of the 205 crypto ATMs installed recently in October alone, 129 of them were installed in the U.S. Even Canada which started the trend with the first BTC ATM has only 566 of those machines at present after nine long years. Although this places the country as the second with the largest number of BTC ATMs with 6.6% after the United States.
Spain follows as the third-largest crypto ATM hub displacing El Salvador after it received a 0.6% share of the 205 newly installed crypto ATMs on October 22nd. Just like the general crypto industry has been plagued this year losing about $2 trillion in digital assets contributed partly by the crash of the TerraUSD, crypto ATM installation has also seen a couple of challenges.
September Sees a Huge Drop In BTC ATM Installation
Between January and May, the number of crypto ATM installations dropped gradually. Shortly after between June and August, there was a slight recovery. Again in September, the net crypto ATM globally dropped for the first time ever after 459 machines were removed from the global network.
The United States authorities are also skeptical about how scammers may use BTC ATMs to perpetrate crimes. They believe that these scammers are able to receive value and defraud victims by utilizing a “pig butchering” scheme.
Many of these attackers strategize and relate with these customers to gain their trust. Once they have gained the customer’s trust, the scammers begin to ask for money in the form of cryptocurrencies sometimes.