Bitcoin ATMs still low in Asia
Despite the large concentration of Bitcoin-related activities in Asia – particularly China – the number of Bitcoin ATMs is one of the lowest going by figures from CoinATMRadar.
According to the site which provides information regarding Bitcoin ATM locations worldwide to make the conversion of cash to Bitcoins immediately (or vice versa) easier, about 4.20% of the world’s Bitcoin ATMs are installed in Asia while North America takes 73.09% and Europe has 20.56%.
Bitcoin ATM setup by BTCChina in 2013 is gone by now.
Among Asian countries, Japan has the largest total number of Bitcoin ATMs installed in 11 locations followed by Macau and Hong Kong which both have four; Vietnam, Singapore, China and Indonesia which three each; Malaysia and South Korea have two each; while Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Philippines have one each.
One recent development that could add to increasing this tally is the recent partnership that makes Vietnam’s leading Bitcoin broker exchange service, Bitcoin Vietnam, to operate EasyBit’s BitAccess machines in the country with the first BTM already operational in Ho Chi Minh City while three others are on the way.
This move will add to the number of two-way Bitcoin ATMs in Vietnam, according to EasyBit’s Michael Dupree Jr. while Nguyen Tran Bao Phuong of Bitcoin Viet Nam thinks that FinTech is an increasingly hot topic in Vietnam with a favourable outlook despite the market is still in a nascent stage.
With Vietnam ranked eleventh in international remittances in 2015 according to the World Bank having received $13.2 billion up from $12 billion in 2014, the growth of Bitcoin machines in the country will make the digital currency’s role as an alternative to traditional international remittance methods much easier for less.
In the USA, where CoinATMRadar reports that there are 525 machines installed, demand for its services has reportedly grown steadily in the past two years among the underbanked and unbanked. Recently, Chris McAlary of Coin Cloud, a Bitcoin ATM operator in the U.S., said the underbanked customers may have a passport and valid ID but may not be interested in setting up a local bank account hence their opting for a Bitcoin machine.
Other global Bitcoin ATM operators are CoinSource, Bitcoin Depot, CoinBTM and Instacoin.