Australia Breaks Into Top 3 Nations for Crypto ATM

In spite of the bear market and the record-low dynamics of new Bitcoin ATM installations throughout the globe, Australia has broken into the top three countries internationally in terms of the number of cryptocurrency ATMs.

It wasn’t until the first few days of January that the Australians moved up to the fourth slot; since then, they’ve added another 16 computers to their network. According to the data provided by Coinatmradar, Australia now has 234 crypto ATMs, which places her in third place internationally behind the United States and Canada in terms of the number of available machines.

In three weeks it outpaced Spain, which possessed 222 crypto ATMs.

It’s all about dynamics: Australia installed 99 cryptocurrency ATMs in only the final three months of 2022, which is over half of the country’s entire number of machines.

Since the beginning of the year, Australia has added 16 new ATMs, while Spain has actually lost 4, and El Salvador, which occupies the fifth rank globally, has not registered a single new ATM. Australia leads the world in this category.

In general, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in Australia, Spain, and El Salvador combined could not come close to matching the large number of ATMs in the United States. The United States of America is home to 33,387 machines, which accounts for 86.9% of all machines in the world.

Together with Canada (2.556) at the time of writing, they possess a remarkable 94.4% of all the crypto ATMs.

A bear market that lasted all of 2022, coupled with heightened geopolitical tensions and inflation on a global scale, led to a significant reduction in the number of cryptocurrency ATMs being installed.

Comparatively, only 94 Bitcoin ATMs were added to the global network between July and the end of 2022. This is in contrast to the 4,169 Bitcoin ATMs that were present during the first half of 2022.

The first Bitcoin ATM with integrated Lightning Network capabilities was installed in the city of Coolangatta, which is located in Australia, in the month of January 2023.

It functions in a manner that is analogous to that of conventional cryptocurrency ATMs, but the layer-2 Lightning solution allows for significant time savings.


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200 Bitcoin ATMs installed at Walmart… with plans for 8000 in total

Walmart has partnered with coin-cashing machine company Coinstar and crypto-cash exchange Coinme to install 200 Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in its stores across the United States. 

Although the pilot includes only 200 kiosks, the broader launch plans to eventually see the installation of 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the country, according to Bloomberg. There have been no further details on timelines as of yet.

According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently over 25,000 Bitcoin ATMs at select grocery stores and service stations in the United States. Coinstar operates 4,400 kiosks enabled for Bitcoin purchases across 33 states.

Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda, told Bloomberg that Bitcoin ATMs aren’t a new development and can already be found at many supermarkets:

“Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot.”

Customers can use the Bitcoin ATM by inserting a banknote and receiving a paper voucher with a redemption code. To redeem the code, customers need to then set up a Coinme account and complete a background check. Users cannot withdraw Bitcoin from their account, with no indication of plans to offer this functionality in the near future.

The Bitcoin ATMs have an 11% surcharge comprising a 4% fee for the Bitcoin option plus an additional 7% cash exchange fee.

As a point of comparison, popular crypto trading platforms Binance and Coinbase charge 3%–4.5%, and 3.99% for debit and credit card purchases, respectively. It is free to make a direct deposit from a bank account to a Binance or Coinbase wallet.

The news was welcomed as a sign of mainstream adoption by some, including influencer Lark Davis, who tweeted, “Wal Mart selling #bitcoin now… cool!” However, other users have complained about the high fees.

“BTC ATM fees are notoriously high plus the ‘current’ BTC price is always way higher when buying and lower when selling,” tweeted Ikegro in response to the news.

“It’s a ripoff, but at least it’s a sign of adoption — they think some people might want BTC enough to pay huge fees,” commented Reddit user u/Axatar in the subreddit r/CryptoCurrency.

Related: Bitcoin Depot’s crypto ATMs surpass 5,000 as adoption grows

This isn’t the first sign of interest that Walmart has shown in the crypto world. In August, the retail giant announced that it was seeking a crypto product lead to drive the company’s digital currency strategy. The job listing has since been removed from Walmart’s website, but an advertisement for the role remains on LinkedIn.

Walmart China has also teamed up with blockchain-based supply chain management platform VeChain to track products.

There was some skepticism over the Bitcoin ATM news, however, which comes hot on the heels of a fake Walmart press release in September, which announced a partnership with Litecoin (LTC). The hoax briefly sent prices of the altcoin surging more than 20%.


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El Salvador ranks third in global Bitcoin ATM installations, data finds

El Salvador now hosts the third-largest network of crypto ATMs after the United States and Canada, amounting to 70% of all crypto ATMs in South America.

According to data from Coin ATM Radar, El Salvador has exceeded United Kingdom’s crypto ATM count after deploying 205 crypto ATMs to date to facilitate local Bitcoin transactions and BTC to U.S. dollar conversions. 

Comparing this to Statista data from August 16, it becomes evident that El Salvador has successfully installed 201 ATMs in just one month. Beforehand, the country ranked 43rd on the list with just four functional crypto ATMs.

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President Nayib Bukele had previously stated that Bitcoin’s adoption would be initially supported by  a network of 200 ATMs and 50 branches. The Salvadorean government has partnered with an in-house cryptocurrency wallet provider named Chivo to power the BTC wallets and ATM usage in the country.

Crypto ATM installations are at an all-time high around the world with 27,664 active machines, and 2,790 new machines being added in September. The increase in El Salvador’s ATM installation drive aligns with the recent presidential order that requires all businesses to accept payment in Bitcoin. However, the merchants retain the option to convert Bitcoin payments to USD before withdrawing their earnings.

While other jurisdictions are yet to decide on Bitcoin’s use case as a mainstream asset, an average of 63.7 ATMs continue to get installed globally every day. Genesis coin remains a leading crypto ATM manufacturer with a market share of 40.7%, while General Bytes and BitAccess represent 22.7% and 12.7% of the market, respectively.

Related: Protesters burn Bitcoin ATM as part of demonstration against El Salvador president

El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has seen some resistance from locals, which recently led to the burning of a Chivo-supported Bitcoin machine. Those protesting adoption of Bitcoin highlighted concerns regarding uncertainty, price fluctuation and lack of exposure to the crypto market.

The Chivo kiosk is the government’s first attempt to create an infrastructure for BTC and U.S. dollar conversions. Currently, El Salvador uses both Bitcoin and the U.S. dollar as legal tender.