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Regulatory Attention Turns to Bitcoin ATMs in US

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The growth of new bitcoin ATMs that let people buy and sell cryptocurrencies slowed in the first two months of the year, with just 1,817 installed, compared with 2,435 in the same period last year.

That’s despite news like bitcoin ATM operator LibertyX’s acquisition by NCR in August, Walmart rolling out a 200-machine test run in October, and MoneyGram buying a stake in Coinme last month. But the bitcoin ATM industry seems to be doing just fine as the 36,082 machines currently available around the world is double the number available at this time last year and nearly six times as many as in 2020.

It’s worth noting, however, that 1,817 new machines are more than the grand total available in the European Union, which has 1,396. And while Canada has 2,267, no other continent has as many as 250, with Asia at 238 and Africa, Australia/New Zealand, and South America each below 100.

What becomes clear is that bitcoin ATMs — and most offer more than one type of cryptocurrency — are becoming an almost entirely American game.

The reason isn’t hard to figure out. The number of…

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