While Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs were an afterthought to Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision of sound money, they are now considered one of the main pillars of Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption. However, the global Bitcoin ATM network, which used to add thousands of machines each month in 2021, recorded a net addition of just 94 Bitcoin ATMs over the past six months since July 2022.
A year-long bear market in 2022 — accompanied by geopolitical tensions and global inflation — hindered various initiatives aiding the growth of the entire crypto ecosystem. As a result, efforts to install new Bitcoin ATMs dipped in many countries that once spearheaded the initiative.
Over the last six months, between July to the end of 2022, just 94 Bitcoin ATMs were added to the global network. In contrast, a modest 4,169 ATMs were added during the year’s first six months, confirms data from CoinATMRadar.
Despite the global slowdown, countries such as Spain and Australia have taken the lead in crypto ATM installations. The United States and Canada retain the top two positions for hosting the highest number of ATMs. El Salvador, the country that once held the third position, has now moved down to the fifth position after Spain and Australia, respectively.
During this timeframe, Bitcoin ATM manufacturer BitAccess saw a relative drop in its ATM installation while others reported a comparatively steady increase.
As crypto investors shake off the negative sentiments from the past year and dive back into the game, sub-ecosystems like Bitcoin ATMs remain well-positioned for a recovery.
Related: Florida best-prepared US state for widespread crypto adoption: Research
Australia, just after overtaking El Salvador to become the fourth-largest crypto ATM hub, got its first Bitcoin ATM with integrated Lightning Network (LN) capabilities.
Using LN, Bitcoin ATMs can process transactions immediately without having the operator batch the funds. As Cointelegraph previously reported, this development can potentially lower transaction fees compared to an on-chain payment.