Visit the following page to find all bitcoin ATM locations in the U.S.
Bitcoin ATMs are spreading quite fast since the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016. Although the most useful application of bitcoin machines could be in the developing countries where financial inclusion is low, the majority of bitcoin ATMs are still appearing in developed countries.
Quick look at bitcoin ATM aggregated stats shows that 63% of all bitcoin machines are in North America and 25% are in Europe. Taking into account 5% in Oceania (mostly Australia) means almost 95% of all machines are in developed countries. There are several reasons for this. Costs for bitcoin ATMs might be quite high for average businessmen in developing country with respect to risk of operating and running it. Also return on investment required can be achieved only in locations with relatively large user base and steady bitcoin usage (mostly in developed countries as of now), which results in transaction volume for such machines.
Leading country within the developed countries list with respect to bitcoin ATM adoption is the United States. As of the end of March 2016 it has roughly 280 bitcoin ATMs installed across the country, which comprises ~45% of all installations worldwide.
Rapid growth in the U.S. happens due to market concentration trend occurring over last year. There appeared a number of companies/operators who run many bitcoin machines at the same time. The top 5 players are:
|Operator name||Number of machines||Preferred machine type||Primary area of operation|
|Cottonwood Vending (CoinBTM)||33||Genesis Coin||New York|
|Red Leaf Chicago||18||Genesis Coin||Chicago|
|CoinSource||17||Genesis Coin||Across the country|
|EasyBit||17||Genesis Coin, BitAccess||Across the country|
|Athena Bitcoin||14||Genesis Coin||Across the country|
Leading bitcoin ATM producer
Looking at the types of machines used in the United States one can observe that majority of machines are Genesis Coin ATMs, which is now a leading bitcoin ATM manufacturer with about 30% market share of all installations worldwide. However, looking only for the year 2015 in the U.S., the share of new Genesis Coin machines reached almost 60% of all installations (see chart below). This can be explained by several factors, namely: good support of network operating (remote control over back office), reliability and almost 100% of back end server up-time, integrated by default support of KYC/AML features required by many legislators in the U.S. nowadays, introduction of a new cheaper two-way bitcoin machine Satoshi2 compared to the first generation Genesis1 bitcoin ATM.
There is a prominent concentration of bitcoin ATM services happening in the U.S. with many machines located in close geographic areas. The two most prominent examples are New York and Chicago. For example, 20% (55) of all machines are located in New York and around it (Jersey City is also included here), 15% (42) are located in Chicago.
Distribution of bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. by city areas:
Distribution of bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. by state:
Bitcoin ATM fees in the U.S.
Average worldwide fee for buying bitcoins from bitcoin machines is 8.18% as of end of March 2016, selling bitcoins is cheaper on average at 5.4%. Daily updated statistics of these metrics can be found at bitcoin ATM statistics page. Price margins in the U.S. are 10.8% for buying bitcoins from ATM, and 4.64% for selling bitcoins. Both higher buy fee and lower sell fee can be explained with regulatory requirements. Being an AML/KYC compliant business brings the costs of running a machine higher (operator has to develop AML/KYC policy and conduct business in a compliant way, which requires more effort). On the other hand, traditional financial institutions like banks are not willing to have MSB clients like bitcoin ATM operators as they regularly deposit cash to accounts, and it increases banks’ risks. Due to lack of traditional financial services available and also constant need for bitcoins in order to run business, many operators lower sell fees, which is supposed to attract users to sell bitcoins to the machine, so that later bitcoins can be purchased from machine by someone else. This resulted that some operators have sell rate close to 0%, or even negative compared to market rate.
Remittance use-case rebirth
Low sell rates bring another interesting side effect: it is now becomes very convenient and cheap to transfer money from abroad to the U.S. using bitcoin as rails. Although remittance corridors are usually from the U.S. but not to the U.S., it is still an interesting opportunity to buy bitcoins abroad and send to someone in the U.S. Even more interesting scenario could be when two bitcoin ATMs are used on both sides and the recipient just sends a QR code to the sender over intnernet, who uses it to buy bitcoins from another machine at the same time. In this case the process looks like one person feeds say British pounds to a bitcoin machine on one side of the Earth, and almost instantly another person receives USD in cash at another side of the planet. Negative sell bitcoin rates compensate buy bitcoin fees to some extent, which makes the process not only quick, but also relatively cheap. Bitcoin transaction occurs between two bitcoin addresses of two machine operators, which means none of the sender and recipient need to know a lot about bitcoin, have any wallets set up etc., they just need to have cash an be present at two locations at the same time.
Finally let’s look at location types, where most bitcoin ATMs are set up.
There are 38 different place categories in total. Most bitcoin machines in the U.S. are located at places related to food, either stores or restaurants etc. (35% in total). 10% are in tobacco e-cigarettes shops. Financial service locations gather 7.5%. Interestingly that most popular and high traffic places like shopping malls have only 5.3% and are at 7th position in the list, probably it can be explained with higher rent charged at big malls.