Over the past six months, Bitcoin (BTC) has recorded a number of milestones: mass adoption in El Salvador, a new all-time high of $69,000, and an all-time high hash rate on the network. But for the first time in history, global bitcoin ATM installs slowed in the first two months compared to a year earlier.
The number of Bitcoin ATMs in the first two months of the year has historically increased year by year, as evidenced by data from Coin ATM Radar. However, the trend this year is breaking.
Total number of Bitcoin ATMs. Source: ATM Coin Radar
In January and February 2022 alone, 1,817 cryptocurrencies were installed in the world. During the same period last year, 2,435 cryptocurrencies were installed, which is 618 more ATMs than this year.
In 2020, only 760 ATMs were installed during this period, exceeding 250 in 2019.
One of the main reasons for the temporary reversal may be the lack of participation of the new jurisdictions. For example, the United States alone provided 93% of all ATMs installed worldwide in 2022, with 1,689 new ATMs installed.
Global distribution of crypto ATMs. Source: ATM Coin Radar
On the other hand, Bitcoin ATMs in Europe decreased by 1 ATM during the first two months and fell to 1,397 ATMs. At the time of writing, North America accounts for over 95% of all cryptocurrencies with 34,284 ATMs.
Bitcoin ATM world map. Source: ATM Coin 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 like El Salvador plan to roll out 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs.
Unless more governments step up efforts to adopt crypto, it will be difficult for ATM facilities to maintain an upward trajectory as current crypto-friendly countries reach saturation when it comes to installing ATMs for cryptocurrency and bitcoin.
Related: Tourism in El Salvador up 30% since Bitcoin Adoption, Minister Says
One of the immediate positive effects of Bitcoin adoption in El Salvador is the sudden rise in tourism. Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdes said on February 22 that the country’s tourism industry has grown by more than 30% since the passage of the Bitcoin law in September 2021.
According to Cointelegraph, Valdez said tourism growth in El Salvador has exceeded government expectations, reaching 1.4 million visitors instead of 1.1 million tourists, adding:
“We estimated $800,000 in foreign currency but received over $1,400 million in foreign currency earnings.”