Bitcoin and cryptocurrency ATMs have seen a decline in installations of more than 1,000 ATMs globally in these early months of 2023.
Bitcoin ATM: installations decline in 2023
According to CoinATMRadar’s data, it appears that the growth curve of Bitcoin ATM installations around the world is experiencing a decline in these early months of 2023.
And indeed, while in December 2022 the global number of crypto ATMs was 39,185, in January and then February the number of installations dropped to 38,896 and 38,773, respectively.
Not only that, as the third month of the year begins today, the number of Bitcoin and crypto ATM installations is reported to be 37,716. Moreover, the net change curve specifies that March 2023 begins with a drop in crypto ATMs of 1057 machines.
In reality, looking at the graph, this 2023 is not the first decline recorded, but it was September 2022 that marked the first time in history that cryptocurrency ATM installations experienced a “halt” to their expansion.
Probably the overall cause was the “long crypto winter,” given that the previous years, from December 2020 to January 2022, the number of ATM installations for crypto and BTC were more than 1,000 per month.
Bitcoin ATMs and the UK’s deployment against unregistered ones
Recently, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) cracked down on illegal and unregistered Bitcoin ATMs.
This happened because, while providing easier access to the crypto world, many ATMs can also be used for illegal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing.
This is why the FCA decided to crack down on the growth of unregistered and illegal Bitcoin ATMs, with the mission to protect consumers, and ensure market integrity by promoting competition in the financial sector.
In the United Kingdom, anyone wishing to operate crypto ATMs must be registered with the FCA as a cryptocurrency company.
Not only that, such companies must also comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) regulations.
Brazil and the expansion of Tether (USDT) into 24,000 ATM
Prior to the collapse of the FTX crypto-exchange, Tether had announced that its dollar-anchored stablecoin, USDT, would be present in over 24,000 crypto ATMs in Brazil.
This had been made possible by SmartPay, the Brazilian company that offers financial services, particularly to the so-called “unbanked,” those without a bank account.
This category of people use SmartPay specifically to make transfers, withdraw from ATMs, and pay bills. To this, the company has also added the cryptocurrency buying and selling service.
Unbanked Brazilians are at least 34 million adults who, thanks to the partnership with Tether, will have the ability to use USDT.
Staying in Brazil, but stepping outside the Bitcoin ATM discussion, the most popular crypto-exchange Binance also recently reportedly launched its Mastercard crypto card in the country.
Brazilians can thus also choose to use their new Binance debit card to spend from their crypto accounts. Indeed, the Mastercard card converts cryptocurrencies into fiat currency in real time at the time of the transaction.