It’s almost impossible not to notice just how ubiquitous bitcoin ATMs have become this year. I’ve seen them in places ranging from gas stations to used game stores to liquor stores. Bitcoin ATMs are expanding rapidly and show no signs of slowing down.
In fact, according to CoinAtmRadar, deployers rolled out 686 bitcoin ATMs in March alone. There are now more than 36,000 bitcoin ATMs worldwide, but the real number is likely higher as CoinAtmRadar does not track every ATM.
Now of course the obvious question is: What’s driving this explosion in bitcoin ATMs?
I believe the primary reason is economic uncertainty. When COVID-19 ravaged the country and many businesses went under, people struggled to find ways to keep afloat financially, and bitcoin and other virtual currencies provided a good way to invest their money. As a result, bitcoin ATMs sprung up to address this need by offering an easier way to invest in bitcoin than other methods.
Despite the fact that COVID-19 numbers have decreased dramatically, other issues such as inflation and the Ukraine war are impacting the economy, so bitcoin still remains an attractive option for many in these times.
However, one might argue that bitcoin’s inherently volatile nature should be a deterrent to investment. I believe that one shouldn’t just look at the momentary ups and downs in bitcoin’s value but in the overall trends, which you can see by looking at this chart below from Google.
As you can see, bitcoin’s value was hovering in the mid $8,000 region in early 2020, but once the pandemic hit, bitcoin’s value began to climb rapidly, reaching $32,000 by Jan. 1, 2021. Since then, although bitcoin’s value has fluctuated significantly, it has not dropped very far below $30,000 since last year.
Overall, bitcoin’s value has been on the uptick ever since the beginning of the pandemic, and unless it goes through an incredible crash, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. And because of this trend, bitcoin ATMs will continue to expand across the U.S. and the world as more customers dive into the world of cryptocurrency.