Trading Browser report analyzes the rise of Bitcoin ATMs around the world



In the report published on 14 March 2023 by Trading Browser, various aspects of Bitcoin ATM adoption are analyzed.

In particular, it highlights which nations have the highest usage rates, and why, as well as which countries have a near-zero presence of Bitcoin ATMs.

The report breaks down into three key points:

  • Countries with a high percentage of unbanked populations are adopting cryptocurrencies to a greater extent than other countries, as these people often use cash payments and Bitcoin ATMs. If the installation of Bitcoin ATMs continues to increase, these countries could experience rapid growth in cryptocurrency adoption.
  • The most surprising and important factor driving cryptocurrency adoption in countries with high percentages of unbanked populations is the large number of Bitcoin ATMs and the alternative financial solution offered by blockchain technology.
  • Cashless countries, such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and New Zealand, have a high percentage of cashless transactions and nearly 100% of their population has a bank account. However, they do not have Bitcoin ATMs installed and their percentage of cryptocurrency holders is lower than that of developing nations.

Bitcoin ATMs are present on a large scale in developing nations

Thousands of Bitcoin ATMs have been installed around the world to promote cryptocurrency adoption. Currently, the United States leads the way with 32,591 machines installed nationwide.

However, there are significant disparities in adoption rates between countries where Bitcoin ATMs have been installed and those where they have not.

Some countries have been quicker to embrace the cryptocurrency trend because of the need for an alternative financial solution. Today we present a comparison and cross-reference of essential data to investigate cryptocurrency adoption rates in unbanked and cashless countries.

The following charts show the number of Bitcoin ATMs, cash payments, unbanked population, cryptocurrency ownership, percentage of cryptocurrency ownership, and total population in 14 countries with different adoption rates.

Adoption levels of Bitcoin ATM

Ultimately, the level of adoption depends on how the population is connected to cash payments and bank accounts.

It is clear that countries with a high percentage of unbanked population have a higher rate of cryptocurrency adoption. With the expected increase in Bitcoin ATMs, we could see exponential growth in cryptocurrency adoption.

For example, Mexico has a population where 60% of people do not have access to bank accounts, but it ranks second on the list with 46 Bitcoin ATMs.

Surprisingly, 3.4% of Mexico’s population owns cryptocurrencies, which is almost three times the adoption rate of more developed countries such as Norway and Denmark.

Similarly, South Africa has 31% of the population unbanked, but 21 Bitcoin ATM have been installed and 10% of the population owns some form of cryptocurrency.

These results highlight that the determining factor for high adoption rates in highly unbanked countries is the number of Bitcoin ATMs installed.

Cryptocurrencies have proven to be a viable option where ATMs have been installed, enabling exchanges between cash and cryptocurrency that would have been impossible without traditional bank or credit card access.

In contrast, Nordic countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland have a record low percentage of cash payments (1%) and nearly 100% of the population is connected to traditional banks.

The causes of low banking adoption

The data provided highlight the high rate of unbanked population in some regions of the world, but it is essential to provide further context and reasons for this situation.

In many unbanked countries, economic or social factors hinder access to financial services. For example, opening and maintaining a bank account can be expensive in developing countries, creating barriers for people.

Infrastructure may also be inadequate to support widespread banking services, and cultural attitudes toward money and trust in financial institutions may also be a factor.

As cryptocurrencies provide an alternative means of payment, developing countries often use blockchain technology as a substitute for traditional money transfers.

Poverty is another significant problem in highly unbanked countries, where banks often require account holders to maintain a minimum balance.

Trust is also a crucial factor in cashless countries, and underpins the functionality of the traditional financial system. However, trust has declined in many nations with high poverty rates.

Government policies can significantly influence cryptocurrency adoption rates.

Countries with less stringent cryptocurrency regulations tend to have higher adoption rates. In addition, technological advances have made it easier to use cryptocurrencies, with the development of more user-friendly wallets and decentralized exchanges.

Cultural attitudes toward money also play an important role in adoption rates. Developing countries tend to have a poor relationship with their national currencies due to high inflation rates, which can make cryptocurrencies a more attractive alternative.

Overall, the factors contributing to cryptocurrency adoption rates are many and complex, including economic, social, technological, and cultural factors.