Bitcoin ATM Still Low in Asia despite Global Increase Every Year
Since late 2013 when the world’s first bitcoin ATM was unveiled in Canada, the number of bitcoin ATMs around the globe has continued to increase amid the crypto mania, while the installations in Asia see no obvious growth despite the large concentration of bitcoin-related activities in the region.
In 2016, the number of crypto ATMs in operation broke 500 for the first time, and since then, this total has nearly doubled every single year, estimated 965 crypto ATMs in early 2017, 2,064 totaling on Jan.1, 2018, and 4,128 as of Jan.1, 2019, data from Coin ATM Radar shows.
However, bitcoin ATM availability is highly unevenly spread around the globe. Only about 2.5% of the world’s bitcoin ATMs are installed in Asia while North America takes the lion share with 71.3% and Europe has 23.3%.
Among Asian regions, Hong Kong (32) has the largest installations of bitcoin ATMs, followed by Malaysia (10), Singapore (9) and Japan (9); Taiwan has 8 and Vietnam 7; Thailand and Kazakhstan have three each; while South Korea, Mongolia and Philippines have one each.
Despite the large concentration of bitcoin-related activities in this most populated continent, particularly the Middle Kingdom China, the number of bitcoin ATMs is one of the lowest going by figures from Coin ATM Radar.
The most populated countries in the region, China and India, are the two most prominent examples where bitcoin is restricted, without a clear definition as legal or illegal. Since the ICO ban in September 2017, China has been trying hard to squeeze crypto-related activities out of its territory. Bitcoin ATM, of course, is unwelcome. The three bitcoin ATMs within the region ceased service in early 2018.
In comparison, demands in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore seem to continue increasing, as ATM installations have been in rapid growth over the past two years from 4, 2, 3 units, respectively in late 2016.
The U.S., pioneering in crypto adoption, is ahead of the rest of the world boasting over 2,600 ATMs within the country. According to Forbes, 15% of the U.S. suppliers plan to accept cryptocurrency payments within the next three years.
It still has a long way to go for the massive adoption of bitcoin-like cryptocurrencies considering these industry fundamentals, but obviously progress has been made.