El Salvador, the first country to legalize Bitcoin (BTC), has been pushed down yet another spot in total crypto ATM installations as Australia records 216 ATMs stepping into the year 2023.
As part of El Salvador’s drive to establish Bitcoin as a legal tender, President Nayib Bukele had decided to install over 200 crypto ATMs across the country. While this move made El Salvador the third largest crypto ATM hub at the time after the United States and Canada in September 2021, Spain and Australia overtook the Central American country’s ATM count in 2022.
On October 2022, Cointelegraph reported that Spain became the third-largest crypto ATM hub after installing 215 crypto ATMs. However, Spain continued its installation drive and is home to 226 crypto ATMs at the time of writing. El Salvador’s position as the fourth-largest crypto ATM hub was short-lived as Australia stepped up its game over the following months.
In the last three months of 2022, Australia deployed 99 crypto ATMs, confirms data from CoinATMRadar. As of Jan. 1, 2023, Australia recorded 219 active crypto ATMs, overshadowing El Salvador by 7 ATMs at the time of writing.
Australia represents 0.6% of global crypto ATM installations and, at this rate, is well-positioned to take over Asia’s crypto ATM numbers, which stand at 312 ATMs. The total number of crypto ATMs worldwide is 38,602, out of which 6,071 ATMs were installed in 2022 alone.
Nigeria’s drive to impose the adoption of an in-house central bank digital currency (CBDC) — eNaira — forced the government to limit ATM cash withdrawals to $225 (100,000 nairas) a week.
“Customers should be encouraged to use alternative channels (Internet banking, mobile banking apps, USSD, cards/POS, eNaira, etc.) to conduct their banking transactions,” noted Haruna Mustafa, the director of banking supervision, while announcing the drive.