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What is Bitcoin ATM? How many Bitcoin ATMs have been installed in 2021?

What is Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM is an internet-enabled kiosk where users can exchange deposited cash for Bitcoin. While they are known as Bitcoin ATMs, they can exchange cash for a range of other cryptocurrencies including Litecoin, Monero, Lightning BTC, Dash, Dogecoin and more.

You cannot exchange Bitcoin for cash at these machines. You cannot withdraw cash from them, and they are not connected to any banks. Instead, these machines facilitate blockchain-based transactions. The equivalent value of the cash deposited in the machine is sent to the user’s digital wallet, usually via the use of a Quick Response (QR) code.

If the user does not already have a digital wallet, they can set up a new one at the machine. Transactions are instantaneous, and will usually appear in the user’s wallet in a matter of minutes.

Most Bitcoin ATMs set an upper and lower limit to how much cash can be exchanged for cryptocurrencies.


Bitcoin ATMs have emerged as a key element in the growth of cryptocurrencies as more investors aim to profit from the sector. In this line, the number of Bitcoin ATMs is on an upward trajectory.

According to data acquired by Finbold, in the first three-quarters of 2021, a total of 13,242 Bitcoin ATMs had been installed globally. A significant number of the machines were installed in 2021 Q3 at 4,779, a growth of 7.8% from Q2’s 4,430 ATMs. The first quarter of 2021 recorded an installation of 4,033 new machines.

July had the highest installations at 1,963 machines, while January had the least figure at 1,042.

Elsewhere, North America dwarfs the rest of the world with 26,489 machines installed, representing a share of 93.5%. Europe ranks second with 1,268 ATMs or a share of 4.5%. South America is third, accounting for 1% of the global share of ATMs or 290 machines, followed by 234 ATMs or 0.8% share.

The Oceania region has recorded installation of 20 mins or 0.1% while Africa has 20 machines.

Crypto popularity driving Bitcoin ATM growth

The report takes note of the drivers behind Bitcoin ATM growth in 2021. According to the research report:

“The accelerated Bitcoin ATM installations for 2021 highlights the role of the machines amid the growing popularity and adoption of cryptocurrencies globally. Interestingly, the installation surged in the third quarter despite the general correction of Bitcoin. This is a possible indicator that providers and investors are bullish on the long-term prospects of the sector.”

Although Bitcoin ATM installation is projected to continue growing, the sector might face the impact of the unclear regulatory landscape globally.

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