Bitcoin ATMs Reach 400 Units Worldwide, 2-Way Machines on the Rise
The number of Bitcoin ATMs across the globe has hit 400. Meanwhile, operators are reportedly making US$1-3K monthly of their Lamassu units, 2-way machines are on the rise, and other interesting metrics from CoinATMradar
The number of Bitcoin ATMs across the globe has hit 400. Meanwhile, operators are reportedly making US$1-3K monthly of their Lamassu units, 2-way machines are on the rise, and other interesting metrics from CoinATMradar.
On October 28, 2013, Bitcoin's quest to enter the mainstream passed a milestone when the world's very first ATM was installed in a downtown Vancouver coffee shop.
The machine, a Robocoin two-way bitcoin ATM, generated lots of buzz and managed to proceed over CA$100,000 in 348 transactions in the first 8 days of its existence.
A year and a half later, the number of bitcoin ATMs has rose sharply, today reaching a total of 400 machines available around the globe.
According to metrics from Coin ATM Radar, a website that tracks the bitcoin ATM industry, one ATM is installed every two days, outlining the growing demand.
North America leading the way
2014 was without a doubt, the year of momentums with the launch of hundreds of bitcoin ATMs around the world, notably in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
While the bitcoin ATM industry experienced impressive growth in 2014, North America has been, and still is, leading the way with 133 machines installed throughout the U.S., and 69 machines in Canada. Between them, the two countries host more than half of all the machines available worldwide.
The geographical breakdown shows that Europe follows North America with 30% of all bitcoin ATMs followed by Asia with 10% (43). Africa remains the most underserved continent with only one machine located in the city of Midrand in South Africa, although it was announced in April, that Botswana should have its first bitcoin ATM operating shortly.
The top five countries with the most machines are the U.S., Canada, Australia, the U.K., and Finland.
India, which is fairly known for its growing bitcoin community, is surprisingly still unequipped, and the Maghreb region is unquestionably lagging behind.
Lamassu holds the largest market share
While Robocoin might have been the first widely known manufacturer brand name since the media hype in October 2013, the first Lamassu machine actually went into operation in August 2013, while the Harvey brothers were showing it off at a series of conventions.
Lamassu quickly emerged as an industry leader, holding 32.5% of market share at the time being. Following Lamassu is Canadian manufacturer BitAccess, with 15.5% in market share, followed by low-cost bitcoin ATM manufacturer Skyhook, with 14%.
Other metrics from Coin ATM Radar reveal that the proportion of two-way bitcoin ATMs has been on the rise, representing today 41.25% of all the machines operating in the world.
The current average fee is 5.52% and with roughly the same average rate for buy and sell operations.
Figures released by Lamassu in late November 2014, unveiled one of the main reasons as to why bitcoin ATMs have been popping out so quickly. The manufacturer said that its machines are producing an average profit for their operators of US$1,000-US$3,000 per month.
At the time, Lamassu said that its standard one-way bitcoin ATMs are averaging transactions worth about US$20,000 a month, with prime locations averaging US$40,000-US$60,000, reported the WSJ's MoneyBeat.
However, this lucrative business is not without risks. In January, two bitcoin ATMs were stolen in Amsterdam. One of these machines was a two-way BitAccess BTM, worth about US$10,000. The second was a one-way General Bytes BATMtwo, worth some US$3,000. As of yet, the offenders have not been caught.