In 2023, the crypto automated teller machine (ATM) landscape experienced an unexpected decline, marking the first annual reduction since its introduction. Starting with a peak of 39,350 machines in December 2022, the count has since dropped to 33,620, signifying a substantial decrease of 14.56%. This downturn is notable for removing approximately 5,730 cryptocurrency ATMs from circulation.
Crypto ATM experiences a notable downward trend
The trend of removals persisted throughout the initial four months of the year, with January witnessing the elimination of around 1,523 devices. February followed suit with 210 machines being discontinued, and a significant 3,555 ATMs were decommissioned in March. April sustained the trend with an additional 340 machines taken out. However, May brought a shift, seeing the installation of 1,711 machines, followed by 857 more in June. July emerged as the most severe month for withdrawals, with an estimated 4,218 machines being decommissioned, leading to the most substantial monthly decline ever recorded.
Although subsequent months experienced net additions, none were sufficient to offset the earlier losses. Global figures reveal Bitcoin Depot as the leading crypto ATM operator, boasting 6,311 machines, followed by Coinflip with 3,880 devices. As of December 30, 2023, Bitstop operates 2,854 machines, Rockitcoin oversees 2,227 units, and rounding off the top five, Athena Bitcoin operates 1,891 crypto ATMs. Approximately 82.2% of the total crypto ATMs are situated in the U.S., with Canada hosting 8.4% of the machines. Europe accounts for 4.6% of the global count of crypto ATMs, and Australia is home to 2.3% of these devices.
Despite these significant shifts, the precise reasons behind the notable decline in crypto ATMs remain unclear. While the dramatic downturn might suggest a dwindling interest in these machines, it’s equally plausible that the tumultuous ‘crypto winter’ of 2022 adversely impacted the businesses operating them. As both crypto ATM operators and consumers adapt to this evolving environment, the destiny of crypto ATMs themselves, akin to the market itself, continues to be an area of watchful anticipation.
Operations and the uncharted path ahead
The fluctuations in numbers could be indicative of various factors, from changing market dynamics to the aftermath of challenging periods for the crypto industry. In examining the landscape, the year 2023 started with a clear downward trajectory, witnessing a continuous removal of machines. However, the tide seemed to turn in May, marked by the installation of over 1,700 machines. This positive momentum carried into June with 857 more ATMs coming online. Despite these additions, July became a pivotal month, witnessing an unprecedented removal of 4,218 machines, constituting the most substantial monthly decline on record.
In the competitive realm of crypto ATM operators, Bitcoin Depot emerged as the frontrunner with an impressive 6,311 machines. Coinflip secured the second spot with 3,880 devices, underlining the dominance of these two players in the market. Bitstop, Rockitcoin, and Athena Bitcoin rounded off the top five, collectively overseeing a substantial portion of the remaining crypto ATMs. Geographically, the majority of crypto ATMs, approximately 82.2%, are concentrated in the U.S., reaffirming the nation’s position as a key player in the crypto ecosystem.
Canada follows with 8.4% of the machines, while Europe and Australia contribute 4.6% and 2.3%, respectively. As the year draws to a close, the crypto ATM landscape reflects a dynamic and evolving market. The uncertainties surrounding the decline in numbers raise questions about the resilience of these machines in the face of market challenges. Whether the reduced count is a consequence of shifting consumer preferences, regulatory developments, or other market dynamics remains to be seen. The crypto ATM industry navigated a turbulent year in 2023, witnessing its first annual reduction in machines since inception.