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The number of Bitcoin ATMs is increasing globally but its correlation with the Bitcoin price or its adoption has not been firmly established.
The number of Bitcoin ATMs has crossed the 1000 mark according to CoinATMRadar which uses a map to show Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency ATM locations as well as alternative cryptocurrency exchange services.
There are now 1002 of them with the majority of these machines - 621 - located in the US followed by Canada. South Africa is the only country in Africa on the list with just one machine.
For the Bitcoin ATM manufacturers, Genesis Coin tops the list with its branded machines in 442 locations while Lamassu has 197 and General Bytes theirs in 159 locations.
The US figure didn’t come as a surprise as the country seems to be the next major market for Bitcoin in a couple of years. Several factors are working to its advantage. They include the economy, the currency, the population, higher disposable income and more importantly, events in China.
Basically, the ATM provides one of the easiest ways to buy and sell Bitcoins as a familiar machine that many people have been used to in the traditional sense.
In its blog published on Friday, Feb. 17, CoinATMRadar notes that the last seven days had an average of four machines installed per day, which means almost 30 new machines were installed during last week.
As at May last year, there were 639 Bitcoin ATMs in different parts of the world according to CoinATMRadar. The new figure shows about 56 percent increase in nine months. In 2014, the same website showed there were 211 Bitcoin ATMs operating on six continents.
A Technavio global ATM market report last year says the growing need for automated teller machines including Bitcoin ATMs in developing nations such as Nigeria, India and Kenya is propelling the growth of the global ATM market.
Whether there is a correlation between the increase in the number of Bitcoin ATMs and the price movement of the digital currency or its adoption is yet to be established.
Aside those with a commercial focus, some of the private organizations that have unveiled their personal Bitcoin ATM machine include Deloitte and Ernst & Young (EY), one of the “Big Four” accounting corporations in the world, which installed a Bitcoin ATM in their public office in Switzerland, enabling its clients and employees to purchase and sell Bitcoins.
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