During July 2017 bitcoin price fluctuated a lot. In the beginning of the month it fell to less than $2000 per BTC, but then quickly gained back and month closed at roughly $2700 per BTC, which was higher than the price of end of June 2017.
During April 2017 bitcoin continued to increase in price, and reached ATH ~$1400 by the end of the month.
Such price increase definitely led to hype in bitcoin demand. As bitcoin ATMs are one of the easiest ways to purchase bitcoins, usage of bitcoin machines also reportedly increased. To some extent it led to growth of number of bitcoin ATMs installed. The following statistics illustrate changed bitcoin machines number during April 2017:
Period Start: 1113, Period End: 1156
Open: 63, Closed: 20, Net Growth: +43 (+3.9%)
Bitcoin ATM industry is relatively new, however, it develops very dynamically. There are many new players entering the market, at the same time there is definitely a trend of some major participants increasing their machine networks size. In this article we evaluate how high is the concentration in bitcoin ATM industry w.r.t. manufacturers and operators. For assessment we look at top 3 countries with highest number of bitcoin ATMs installed: United States of America, Canada and United Kingdom.
For the purpose of this article three types of indexes are used:
Concentration ratio 3 (CR3) – market share controlled by top 3 manufacturers or operators;
Concentration ratio 5 (CR5) – market share controlled by top 5 manufacturers or operators;
Herfindahl index – is a concentration index, which is calculated as a sum of squared market shares, and gives more weight to the situation with dominance of a single or small group of companies.
There is a steady increasing number of bitcoin ATMs on the map. However, many people complain that fees to use these machines are still high, although these complaints might not be that prominent as they were at the start of first bitcoin ATMs launch times. Users finally realize that running a bitcoin ATM is not that easy and there are many costs associated with it.
Bitcoin ATM fees were already analysed in our blog back in 2014. This article is supposed to look at what are the latest figures across the industry as of the end 2016.
There are two ways of collecting fee size on the site:
First is based on the manually defined values. This is normally used for bitcoin ATMs, which don’t support passing online information over API. Most prominent example is Lamassu with currently 185 installed and operational bitcoin ATMs across the world.
Another way to collect data is via online feeds. There are several bitcoin ATM providers, which support online reporting of information similar to the one used at actual machines. These are: Genesis Coin, General Bytes, and Bitaccess. In case of Genesis Coin and General Bytes machines, online price is taken and converted to fee size based on Bitcoin Average rate. This allows to make all fee size comparable. In case of Bitaccess fees are reported directly.
Since April 2015 we collect daily information about fee size. There were some algorithm adjustments to calculation and storing procedure over time, but generally fees are comparable historically.
Current worldwide average bitcoin ATM fee is 8.4% for buying bitcoins from machines, and 5.4% for selling bitcoins for cash.
Bitcoin ATM industry is growing fast. There are several new bitcoin machine installations worldwide daily. Existing bitcoin ATM operators increase number of machines in their networks, as well as new operators join the market. Even on the production side, there are new manufacturers developing their products and coming to the market with new bitcoin machine models targeting different segments and niches, e.g. recently were added BitTeller, Bitlox, BitConcept on our site.
Running a bitcoin ATM is an interesting business opportunity in the new era of digital currencies, however, sometimes the lack of information keeps people away as they don’t know where to start, or get any practical estimations of how much you can earn with a bitcoin ATM. In order to increase transparency Coin ATM Radar conducted a survey with a number of bitcoin ATM operators to find out what are current metrics of an average bitcoin ATM business.
Now back to survey. It was sent to 24 operators in total, 11 responded either in full or skipping some questions due to not wanting sharing info, although it was mentioned that none of info will be associated in any form to the company or person responding. Even limited info we received gives a good estimation of level of costs and earnings one should expect.
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.