The coronavirus pandemic has brought almost all sectors of the global economy to a standstill, especially physical retail businesses in areas where quarantine measures have been enacted. However, one physical retail business that is still thriving despite the ongoing pandemic is the crypto ATM industry, which is currently seeing a record high rate of new installations, and the number of total crypto ATMs has reached 8,350, which is up 2,000 since the beginning of the year.
According to CoinATMRadar, the frequency of crypto ATM installations had been surging since dropping below 100 new machines per month in September 2019. By February, right before the coronavirus pandemic crashed the global economy, the frequency hit a record high of 346 crypto ATM installations in just one month.
When the pandemic hit, the frequency of new crypto ATM installations did indeed slow, to 304 per month in April before dropping to 282 per month in May.
However, the installation of these devices has skyrocketed to a new record high of 371 in June, and the month is not even over yet. Literally, the global economy is in shambles, and large swaths of the world remain under varying levels of coronavirus restrictions, yet more crypto ATMs are being installed than every before.
This is especially shocking considering that these machines are actually quite prone to losing business due to the coronavirus. First off, it is likely that a large number of retail stores where they are stationed had to close down for some time during the pandemic, and if the store is shut down then no one can access the crypto ATM.
Also, COVID-19 has scared most of the world’s population, which has caused some people to completely become hermits and not leave their house, while others simply limit the number of trips that they take outside to the bare minimum. Either way, people are generally not so ready to go out in public, especially to use a crypto ATM which has been touched by other people, and theoretically, this effect should hinder the industry.
Instead, the crypto ATM industry is flourishing. A possible explanation is that lots of people depend on them in order to convert crypto to and from cash for business purposes, and these people will keep using them no matter how bad conditions get.
Another possible explanation is that crypto ATMs are a proven business model, and physical retail locations are in a rush to add them since it is easy money.
All of this being said, this article just looks at the frequency of new installations and doesn’t account for the total revenue and profit of the industry, which is undisclosed data. Therefore, perhaps crypto ATMs did take a big hit in terms of revenues/profits, but it wasn’t enough to stop the expansion plans of the major manufacturers.
On a final note, it is excellent news for the blockchain space that the crypto ATM sector has not been severely hindered by the coronavirus pandemic, since they are essentially the ground game of global crypto adoption. These ATMs help to attract new crypto users, increase demand on the Bitcoin spot market, and facilitate instant and easy of cash-to-crypto transactions and vice versa which makes cryptocurrency more attractive for use as a currency.
Thus, the continued proliferation of crypto ATMs is a beacon of hope in the crypto space, since as long as they keep expanding across the globe in an accelerating fashion, then crypto adoption and the value of Bitcoin will increase at an accelerating rate long term as well.
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