A Bitcoin ATM in Hong Kong. The number of newly installed machines operating globally has continued to grow at a stable rate this year. Photo: EyePress/AFP

ATMs supporting digital coins have increased parallel to the predominant trend on cryptocurrency markets since the beginning of 2020. With over 400 new devices added in January, the global total is now closing in on the 7,000 mark. The sector has seen exponential growth in the past three years, Bitcoin.com reported.

This year had a promising start for cryptocurrencies, with the price of BTC rising from below $7,000 in the first days of January to around $9,350 at the end of the month and to over $10,000 in mid-February, the Bitcoin Markets tool shows. Other cryptocurrencies gained market capitalization too. Bitcoin cash (BCH), for example, increased its rate from a little under $200 per coin to almost $500 on February 14.

Higher prices are bringing interest back to the crypto space, with more people looking to invest in digital assets. Bitcoin ATMs are an accessible way to acquire cryptos for those who are entering the ecosphere now and the Google Trends statistics reveal that the queries about this type of teller machine have doubled since last year. Period highs were observed in June 2019, when BTC almost touched $13,000, and in the first half of January, when the current bull market started.

The number of newly installed BATMs has continued to grow at a stable rate this year, according to data compiled by the tracking website Coinatmradar. Its Bitcoin ATM Market Dynamics January 2020 report shows that there were 6,377 operating devices around the world at the start of the month. 432 machines were launched during the period while only 104 were closed, which represents a net growth of 328, or 5.1%.

The majority of manufacturers increased production. Genesis Coin is leading the pack with 146 new ATMs (7% increase), followed by General Bytes with 62 (3%) and Coinsource with 40 installations (up 11.7%). Many operators introduced new machines. Coinflip Bitcoin ATMs tops the chart with 36, Bitcoin Depot is a close second with 34 and ATM Coiners comes in third place with 33, or a 50% increase in its devices. New players are entering the niche with U.S.-based Pro ATM installing its first 12 machines.

Coinatmradar has been following and analyzing the activities of 870 Bitcoin ATM operators since 2013. Despite the common perception that they charge high fees, not all companies have made it so far due to various costs and risks. The survival rate seems to depend on the number of operated ATMs. Firms that ran between one and 10 machines at peak level lasted for a year and a half on average. While over 450 of these small operators are still active, more than 300 have already closed down. At the same time, none of the companies with 100 or more devices went out of business.

Image: Bitcoin.com

In January, the United States saw the highest number of new BATMs – 325 new machines were installed across the country, which is a 7.7% increase. Canada and the United Kingdom are distant second and third with only five and two recently added locations, respectively. Unfortunately, there are nations that closed some of their crypto teller machines last month. Italy, for instance, has lost seven BATMs and now has 47. Three of a total of 179 devices were decommissioned in Austria while two were unplugged in the Netherlands.

Most of the machines in operation allow you to buy and sell multiple currencies. Bitcoin core (BTC) is the most widely supported crypto on all but three of the 6,833 active ATMs. Their number increased by over 300 in the first month of the year. A total of 2,307 devices currently offer Bitcoin cash (BCH), up from 2,226 at the end of January and 2,141 at the start of 2020. Last month, BCH supporting devices increased by 85 or almost 4%. Meanwhile, teller machines offering zcash (ZEC), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Monero (XMR) have decreased in number.

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