Bitcoin ATM installations slow in early 2022, a first in history

Over the past six months, Bitcoin (BTC) has registered numerous milestones: El Salvador’s mainstream adoption, a new all-time high of $69,000 and a stronger-than-ever network hash rate. However, for the first time in history, global Bitcoin ATM installations have slowed in the first two months compared to the previous year.

Bitcoin ATM installations in the first two months of the year have increased year over year in the past, as evidenced by: data from Coin ATM Radar. However, the trend is breaking this year.

General Bitcoin ATM installations. Source: Coin ATM Radar

For January and February 2022 alone, a total of 1,817 cryptocurrency ATMs have been installed worldwide. During the same period last year, 2,435 crypto ATMs were installed, which is 618 more than this year.

In 2020, only 760 ATMs were installed during this period, overshadowing the 250 ATM installations of 2019.

One of the main reasons for the temporary delay can be attributed to the lack of involvement from newer jurisdictions. For example, the United States alone contributed to 93% of total global cryptocurrency ATM installations in 2022 with 1,689 new ATMs.

Global crypto ATM distribution. Source: Coin ATM Radar

On the other hand, Bitcoin ATMs in Europe were reduced by 1 ATM in the first two months, to a total of 1,397 ATMs. At the time of writing, North America represents over 95% of the total crypto ATM installations with 34,284 ATMs.

World map of Bitcoin ATMs. Source: Coin ATM Radar

A total of 36,067 ATMs are currently installed. Despite a slower start to the year, crypto ATMs are expected to grow as jurisdictions such as El Salvador plan to deploy 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs.

Unless more governments ramp up their crypto adoption efforts, ATM installations will find it difficult to maintain an upward trajectory as existing crypto-friendly countries reach saturation in terms of installing new crypto and Bitcoin ATMs.

Related: Tourism in El Salvador Has Increased 30% Since Bitcoin Adoption, Minister Says

One of the immediate positive effects of Bitcoin adoption for El Salvador is a sudden spike in tourism. Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdez said on Feb. 22 that the country’s tourism industry has grown by more than 30% since the Bitcoin law was passed in September 2021.

As Coin-Crypto reported, Valdez said tourism growth in El Salvador exceeded government expectations, reaching 1.4 million visitors instead of 1.1 million tourists, adding:

“We expected $800,000 in foreign exchange, but we got over $1,400 million in foreign exchange earnings”

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