In the previous post we discussed the theoretical profit calculations for running a Bitcoin ATM. This post collects the real-life examples of operation metrics for different Bitcoin ATMs found in the internet.
Vancouver first Robocoin machine
Due to a lot of attention as the first Bitcoin ATM and also due to the high demand for bitcoins during the ATM launch, this machine did CAD 100,000 (~$95,000) in 348 transactions during the first eight days ($273 per transaction) (source). Later it was announced that Bitcoin ATM did roughly 1 million CAD (~$950,000) in transactions during the first 29 days with 1,576 buy and sell transactions ($603 per transaction).
The investment was paid back during the period less than a month in this case.
The company’s co-founder Abdul Haseeb Awan announced in February 2014 that BitAccess machines are doing about $10,000 in transactions per day (Montreal installed machine), which transforms to roughly $300,000 per month.
Other figures were provided by Scott Walker from expresscoin.com (redditor /u/bitsandmore) in this thread. He says they were operating several Bitcoin ATMs and the following turnover figures are known:
- Robocoin at the “D” hotel in Las Vegas in the first month was $150k in transactions (three-times higher than our calculation in Scenario 3 in the previous post).
- Lamassu, BitAccess, Genesis1 in different locations were bringing roughly $100k per month in volume each (which is also higher than our calculation in Scenario 2).
Scott concludes that in “Great” location ROI is about 3 months, in a “Good” location it is about 6 months, and in poor location probably about 12 months.
Black Star Pastry Bitcoin ATM
This is a Lamassu Bitcoin ATM in Sydney, Australia. In the same reddit thread mentioned above user /u/BitcoinOdyssey mentions that there are only 1-2 users per day. Similar stats is mentioned for other Bitcoin ATMs in Vancouver (not the first Robocoin ATM) by user /u/worldcoiner. He says there are about 1 visitor per day only.
Skyhook Bitcoin ATM in Philippines
The Bitcoin ATM is installed in Makati City in BitMarket.ph office. The company recently reported that it has been sparsely used since it was shipped from Portland, Oregon. They estimate about 100 users of the Bitcoin machine over the past few weeks. Well, assuming this is the number of transactions starting from the launch of the machine in the middle of June 2014, it is on average 40-50 transactions per month. However, the company representative hasn’t revealed any information about the average Bitcoin purchase size.
Satoshipoint Bitcoin ATM in Bristol, United Kingdom
This Bitcoin ATM is located in Bristol, UK and at the moment of this writing, it is the only Bitcoin ATM in the city. According to this article the machine processed about £38,000 in 1 month (August, 2014) with 250 operations in total (average transaction size is £152). This is one of the successful machines from this operator, as the ones in London have lower volumes due to many machines there (6 Bitcoin ATMs in London). The fees for this Bristol ATM is set at 5%. Using the Bitcoin ATM ROI calculator – we get the break-even point for this ATM at about 11 months from the launch.
Redditor /u/Bit-Connect conducted a survey of operators running Bitcoin ATMs (only 8 actually responded with filled details). The results of the survey can be seen on this image. As it is seen the biggest group has 20-50 transactions per month. Nobody reported more than 75 transactions per month.
In March 2014 there was an analysis report from BTCPoint bitcoin ATM supplier. The calculations are based on the EUR 800 (~$1080) transaction volume per day, which is mentioned as “very conservative”. This transforms to the volume of roughly $32,000 per month (which is two times bigger than assumed in our Scenario 2).
According to information from Lamassu company (as of Novermber 2014) – standard locations have volume of about $20,000 per month, while prime locations bring $40,000-60,000 per month in volume. With an average mark-up rate of 5.5%, the gross profits are $1,000-$3,000 per machine per month.
Moreover, the increasing adoption rate also increases turnover in Bitcoin ATMs. For example, according to information from Bitcoin Group HK they processed 200 BTC in total. To process the first 100 BTC it took the machine 5 months, while the next 100 BTC were processed during only 1 month.
Bittihara – Finnish company operating a network of Lamassu machines in Finland, reported in the same article that one of their machines at central railway station in Helsinki is doing approximately $32,000 a month in turnover, while the record was $50,000. Average transaction size is reported to be $150-200.
According to Micah Corning-Myers, CEO of Midwest Bitcoin the machine in Columbus Barber shop had a turnover of about $10,000 in the first month, while similar machine in Chicago has about $100,000 in transactions per month. The company operates several two-way BitAcces Bitcoin ATMs.
Vaiex Lamassu machine in London
Vaiex operates a Lamassu machine at Hemsai Food and Wine. According to company’s representative there were about 300 transactions over the period of 6 months with average of £100 each. So the total revenue of the company over this period was about £30,000. The company charges 4.9% fees for every transaction, so gross profit over 6 months was £1470, or £245 per month. With the initial cost of the machine of about £5000, it will take almost 2 years only to get the initial expenses back, not including the maintenance of the machine. So this is an example of unprofitable location for a Lamassu unit, however the idea of the owners is not to earn a lot on this, rather than make bitcoins available for masses.
According to Jordan Kelley “today on average, a Robocoin machine averages $26,000 per month in transaction volume, generates about $1,300 per month in fee revenue, and averages about 115 unique transactions”. These figures are reported after the introduction of new Robocoin wallet, which led to many operators loosing customers due to long confirmation period (sell operations dropped significantly as reported by many operators). Alternatively software with some hardware from General Bytes or Lamassu can be used on the same kiosks.
Skyhook bitcoin machine in Indianapolis, US
Bitcoin ATM in Indianapolis at World Of Vapor was installed back in December 2014. At the moment of this writing the machine is in operation for 8 months, so there is now definitely some established knowledge about location of this machine among local interested users.
The operator of this machine is very transparent on the statistics about running the machine and provides online information about BTC price, sales amounts and also success rate of transactions. All details can be found here. Looking at the chart of sales – there is a clear upward trend since April 2015 (start of the chart), probably similar trend was from the very beginning of the launch in Dec 2014.
On 30th of July 2015 the price of BTC at this machine was $324.9, comparing to the price of Bitstamp $288.01 – this gives approximate operator’s fees at this date of 12.8%, assuming this is the level of fees applied over time (one can check this, as all the machine rates are also provided on the chart) we can calculate profitability of this ATM.
With daily average of transactions now of about $800 – the machine brings about $3000 per month in the form of earned fees. Of course there are costs of operating such machine as paying the rent to the owner of the local business or share revenue with them, however, with the initial investment costs of this given machine at $999, the ROI for it is less than a month at current level of transactions volume (which, of course, was different at the launch of this location). So, this example shows that even if the machine doesn’t have enough volume it makes sense to stick to one location and increase local awareness, probably volume increase will follow.
Two-way BitXatm machines in Switzerland
According to information from biggest bitcoin ATM operator in Switzerland Bitcoin Suisse AG (as of October 2015) about performance of their machines the following info is available:
“The ATM in Zurich does between 30-40k CHF / month. The one in St. Gallen does about 20k CHF / month. The ATMs in Bern and Basel are freshly placed and we don’t have a track record yet. 90% of the Volume is Buy Bitcoin, 10% is sell Bitcoin.” (source).
UPDATE: Later in the news the revenue was mentioned for Bern and Zurich locations. Bern location at Billard Center Bern City does about 25K CHF in monthly turn over with average transactions size of Fr. 200 (3 usages per day on average). Zurich location is reported to have twice that volume.
Keene’s bitcoin ATM, US (first Skyhook, then Lamassu)
This bitcoin ATM is located in Keene at Route 101 Gifts shop. Initially there was a small Skyhook installed since July 2014 and then (in April 2015) it was replaced with a Lamassu bitcoin ATM. So bitcoin machine has been in operation for more than a year. Some stats has become available, while according to this article the owner is using the same bitcoin address for payouts to customers.
After finding the corresponding volume of sold bitcoins in USD the following chart was created:
During the period of July 2014 – July 2015 the machine was generating about $2-3K monthly volume, but since August 2015 the volume jumped to about $20-30K per month and stays at this level.
Keene is a small city in New Hamshire with about 23K population. So where from all this volume came? According to the owner: “our customers range from young to old from all across the Northeast, because sadly, the Keene BVM is the only publicly accessible BVM (or ATM) in all of ME, NH, VT, MA, CT, RI, and Upstate NY. New York, the Empire State, has cracked down on the bitcoin industry there, resulting Albany and Buffalo losing their machines in 2015”. So it looks like BitLicense played a good role here and people started visiting the machine from remote areas.
Speaking about profitability the first year was quite hard with respect to ROI, as during the first 12 months the machine brought about $17.7K of volume only (looks like in Jan-Mar 2015 the machine was not working as there were no transactions). With fees 5-10% operator charges it could bring $1700 earnings during the whole year maximum, which could be assessed as a failure. But then after the growth of volume the machine now probably generates $2-3K per month in profits, which results in about 3 months needed to pay back the costs of the machine. At the moment of writing it was 12th November, so last month stats is not yet full, that is why graph is decreasing.
So it is very important when operating a bitcoin ATM to keep it at the same place, to promote and advertise it. Normally it takes about half a year to reach some popularity and increase to “normal” volume, however, as we see in this case it took more than a year. But I would still assess it as a success story.
Lamassu in Cambridge at St John’s Innovation Centre
Lamassu bitcoin ATM in Cambridge was operating a little more than a year and is removed from its location in November 2015. It will be used for the purposes of Duo Money project.
Justin Drake shared operational stats for this machine on his twitter:
So during a year machine did only £15K in volume, which means at its rate (announced 3-5%) the earnings were only £750 per year maximum, not taking into account all running costs, which were definitely higher. So this is an example when bitcoin ATM brought financial loss to the operator. Considering initial investment in bitcoin ATM itself the loss is even bigger.
150 users during 1 year means machine was used once in two days on average, which is a very low activity at bitcoin ATM compared to other examples.
Lamassu in Bratislava, Slovakia
According to information from Marián Jančučka Bitcoin ATM in Košice was operated for about a year and was not profitable enough due to lack of demand although it was actively promoted and after a year of operation bitcoin machine was sold a different operator – Cryptodiggers, who moved machine to the capital Bratislava. Another bitcoin ATM which is operated by Marrián for a very long time is a Lamassu machine in Bratislava city center. Here are the figures mentioned for this machine:
“We can only estimate the total number of Bitcoins sold from the number of different wallets used to purchase Bitcoins. Long-term average is above 2 Bitcoins sold per day in about two transactions, so the average single purchase is something above 1 BTC. MojBitcoin ATM is in operation since 21. November 2013 which is almost 750 days, so it’s over 1500 bitcoins sold in 1500 transactions to 1000 bitcoin wallets.”
Assuming the USD transasction equivalent is the same over this long period and BTC volume changes depending on the price, we can calculate what is the average daily turn over of this machine was based on the historical prices from BitStamp. It is about $700 a day in 2 transactions. So average monthly volume is ~$21K per month. The machine is charging 3%, which results in $630 of gross profit per month.
Coin Cloud bitcoin ATMs
Coin Cloud is a bitcoin ATM operator who runs a network of bitcoin machines mostly in California. Although it is not clear what is the volume at machines – according to the Vice article and CEO Chris McAlary statement:
“Coin Cloud customers purchase on average $250 worth of bitcoins and sell on average $500 at the machines”
Assuming machine does 2 transactions per day and 80% of them buy bitcoin operations we get estimation for volume at one machine of $18K per month. This caculation is based on a plain assumption of number of transactions per day, which probably varies heavily depending on location, e.g. bitcoin machine at The D Las Vegas Casino is probably doing more than 2 transactions per day.
UPD: Later in a different article Chris McAlary mentioned that each machine brings about 200-300 visitors traffic to stores:
“The kiosks draw a wide range of new customers, on average 200-300 a month, that would have otherwise not entered a store”
Assuming this is the customer base of each machine per month, putting two metrics together (taking number of visitors as 250) we get 250*0.8*250+500*0.2*250 = $75K turnover for one machine per month on average.
Bitaccess machine in Toronto
A Bitcoin Decentral ATM is installed for a long time since January 2014. It was the first Bitaccess ATM installed in the world. Anthony Di Iorio in one of Epicenter Episodes (127) mentioned (at ~4:00) that bitcoin ATM is very active at this location bringing 40-50 users per day. It still seems to be an exaggeration, otherwise this machine generates about $250K in revenue with assumed average ticket of $200, which is probably not the case especially when there is another bitcoin ATM installed close to it.
Genesis Coin machines run by Digital Mint
In the following interview Marc Grens President at Digital Mint mentioned, that average size of transactions at their ATMs was dropping. It was $200 / txn when they started and it moved down to $110-120 / txn as of October 2016. It is probably connected to more and more broad public gets introducted to bitcoin and they usually purchase in small amounts to try it out, like $20-30 per purchase.
Another interesting metric mentioned that 70% of customers are coming back and buying more bitcoins month over month.
Lamassu estimation on volumes
According to Zach Harvey, who with his brother Josh gave a presentation at meetup in Switzerland in May 2017, machine do on average 10-30 transactions per day per machine. In the low interval machine could get as low as 2-3 transactions per day and good locations do much more like 50-100 transactions per day. Average transaction $250.
So volume at average location according to Zach is $75-225 K, which might be overly optimistic in our opinion.
Bitaccess machine in Omaha
According to information from Alpha BTC, the machine at Jones Bros Cupcakes in Omaha brings $50’000 in monthly revenue.
Bitcoin of America ATM’s in Detroit
Based on Bloomberg report bitcoin ATM’s of Bitcoin of America operator were targeted and damaged in the end of 2016. According to filed police reports, one machine in D&L brought $808 during 6 months in revenue ($134K per month), which resulted in more than $120K gross profit based on 15% charged commission. Another machine from Bitcoin of America in Detroit did $526K in revenue over the same 6-months period ($87K per month).
Cottonwood Vending bitcoin ATM in NYC
The following article on Bloomberg contains some valuable information about volume that bitcoin ATM’s bring to operators. CoinBTM (Cottonwood Vending) operates bitcoin machines in NYC area solely. At the end of 2018 there are roughly 90 machines in operations. The company applied for Bitlicense and provided operational details. From the linked aritcle it follows that:
It has 13 employees and gross annual revenue exceeding $35 million—about $385,000 in cash per machine, according to court records.
So on average one ATM brings $32K in gross revenue per month. This is pretty close to estimation that was obtain during a survey in the past, when on average bitcoin ATM was reportedly bringing $20-30K in revenue per month.
Same article claims that company charges 19% or more from customers (actually the fee size is tiered from 6% for large amounts to 20% for small amounts). If average of 13% is taken, it results in roughly $4000 gross profit per ATM per month, which for the network of 90 ATM’s is roughly a $4.3 million in gross profit per year.
The company pays $500 to one of the locations for renting space for ATM’s per month.
Auscoin operator in Australia
Based on information provided by Sam Karagiozis (CEO of Auscoin), the company at the beginning of 2019 had a weekly turnover of ~$500’000 AUD for the whole network of ATM’s (31). Which results at 0.7 USD per AUD in approximate revenue of 45’000 USD per ATM per month.
UPD: In March 2019 Sam Karagiosiz was arrested and charged for drug trafficking. Auscoin was closed as well. In the light of this news, the volume at their ATMs was highly likely faked and ATMs were used for money laundering by the business owner.
Modern Tender operator in the U.S.
Company Modern Tender was an operator on American market since February 2015. The company decided to discontinue operations for unknown reasons in May 2019. While selling hardware and lease of locations the company representative revealed the volume size of operations during last half year:
The figures are quite astonishing as there is 36% growth in monthly revenue size over reported period. Also the company operated 11 buy-only Lamassu ATM’s, which results on average in $43K revenue per ATM per month. The company charged 8% commission size from the volume.
Token Recap operator of one ATM in NJ, USA
Derek Lest operated one ATM in New Jersey under “Token Recap” operator name. He had one General Bytes BATM2 machine, which allowed to buy BTC, LTC and ETH. Based on video Derek shared update on his experience and mentioned that there was only single transaction of using ATM over 6 months period.
Bitcoin ATM’s in Germany, Shitcoins operator
Bitcoin ATM were growing in numbers in Europe as well. One of the largest markets in Europe is Germany, which for very long time had limited or no exposure to bitcoin ATM installations, due to strict policy from Bafin.
In 2018 there were a Berlin court which limited Bafin power in decision making and since then German market has seen increase in machine installations. One of the large operators there is Shitcoin, a polish company, that installs many ATM across various countries in Europe.
Adam Gramowski from Shitcoins company comments in interview that machine installed in Bremen had roughly 200 transaction per 3 months, which is around 70 transactions a month. As machines support both buy and sell operations, the average amount might be larger than just buy enabled machines. Assuming average ticket of $300 / transaction, such ATM does $21000 in revenue per month after 3 months of installation.
Athena Bitcoin Operator Use Case
In the press release, GamePlan Inc. writes about acquisition of Athena Bitcoin in February 2020. They write: “The US-operations of Athena had gross sales of $10.7 MM, $22.9 MM and $27.0 MM respectively in 2016, 2017, and 2018 according to its audited financial statements. The spread between the prices Athena buys and sells cryptocurrency in aggregate comprises Athena’s gross profit. For the years 2016, 2017, and 2018 Athena’s gross profits were respectively $0.76 MM, $1.85 MM, and $4.23 MM. The company expects to provide consolidated audited results for 2019 when they become available.”
We checked the average number of ATMs Athena Bitcoin had in 2016-2018 years: 2016 – 18.7, 2017 – 42.8, 2018 – 65. Based on comparison of the figures, the average monthly revenue per ATM was: 2016 – $47.6K, 2017 – $44.6K, 2018 – $34.6K. Since late 2017 Athen Bitcoin launched Athena Investor Services – and provide additionally OTC services. So the revenue figures highly likely include OTC trades and might result in overestimated volume per ATM.
Bitcoin Solutions (Bitcoin Well) in Canada
One of the largest bitcoin ATM operators in Canada shared the 3Q 2020 results: The results don’t contain only activity from running bitcoin ATM, as the company also provides online exchange services, but some metrics are solely about bitcoin ATMs:
- Sales revenue increased 185% to $29.1 million for the first nine months of 2020 relative to the same period in 2019, while Q3 2020 sales revenue increased 286% over Q3 2019 to $14.6 million.
- Gross margin totaled $3.5 million for the first nine months of 2020, reflecting 246% growth over the first nine months of 2019, while Q3 2020 gross margin was $1.8 million, a 551% increase over Q3 2019.
- Adjusted EBITDA in the first nine months of 2020 totaled $1.0 million, 358% higher than the same period in 2019, with Q3 2020 Adjusted EBITDA totaling $726,666 , or 3,549% higher than Q3 2019.
- Cash balance of $2.5 million as at September 30, 2020.
- Added 16 new ATMs during the third quarter which contributed to the Company’s current total of 79 machines installed across Canada as at December 1, 2020.
- Recorded average monthly revenue per machine of over $49,500 in Q3 2020, with an average transaction size per machine of $988.
Based on the real-life examples above it is seen that the business volume significantly varies from location to location and also among different Bitcoin ATM types. If you plan to purchase and install a portable Bitcoin machine in local shop or cafe, don’t expect $100k in monthly transactions, more realistic figures are in the range of about 50-100 transactions with about $5-10k transaction volume per month in a good location. With the middle class Bitcoin machines (scenario 2) you could expect the turnover to be in $20-40k interval in a good location. With bank-level Bitcoin ATMs one could expect the transaction volume of $50k or more per month in a popular place with a broad media coverage.
With increased competition among bitcoin ATM operators we see the are plenty machines located close to each other and hence the volume per machine is becoming lower compared to initial example of one machine in a city with a lot of hype and media coverage around it.
As we are only at the beginning of the Bitcoin adoption phase, sometimes it is not even that important to make your ATM profitable, but it is rather often used as a means of free PR publicity. With the level of Bitcoin ATM prices (like in Skyhook case), it is relevantly small investment to increase the traffic to your local brick-and-mortar business. According to representative of Greek coffee shop and bakery [email protected] the conversion rate from ATM users in the shop is about 80%.