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7 Charts That Show a Year of Growth for Bitcoin ATMs

(@joonian) | Published on July 18, 2014 at 17:18 BST

Our last State of Bitcoin report contained two tantalising slides on data from our Bitcoin ATM Map. To quench the thirst for more, we've dug through our Fusion Table and come up with several more charts to illustrate what's going on with bitcoin ATMs around the world.

Our Bitcoin ATM Map has 121 'active' machines on it, which means machines that are live and operational, as far as we can tell.

We do rely on a combination of press reports, press releases from manufacturers and operators, and crowdsourcing for our information, so it's not going to be completely accurate all of the time. With that out of the way, lets check out the data.

Which country has the most bitcoin ATMs? No surprise here, it's the Great White North – Canada – with 30 machines.

Lagging some way behind is the United States with about two-thirds that number. And lagging way back are a clutch of countries from disparate continents: Singapore, Australia and the UK.

The chart quickly becomes a long tail, with the rest of the 27 countries on our map containing just a handful of machines and quickly thinning down to just one or two.

The distribution of ATMs appears slightly more equitable when viewed by continent.

North America leads with 40% of the share, but Europe is just 10 percentage points behind. The same gap, roughly, exists between Europe and Asia. Oceania is well represented, with a 7% slice, but Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa are seriously underrepresented when it comes to bitcoin ATMs.

As a side note, we used the United Nations Statistics Division's rules on the naming and composition of continents.

Where exactly are all these bitcoin ATMs located, then?

We created a number of location categories for the ATM, ranging from airports and train stations to newsagents and shopping malls. The number of categories is quite large, which reflects the diversity of spaces bitcoin ATMs can be found in.

Bitcoin ATMs are basically found in spots with high foot-traffic. The machines are pretty evenly spread among coffee shops, restaurants and retailers, if you look at the share of location types.

But a breakdown of locations by absolute numbers reveals some of the other venues that host bitcoin ATMs. Supermarkets, hotels and shopping malls are all represented on the list of places where you can find a cryptocurrency machine.

It's perhaps worth noting that the sorts of places you'll find a conventional cash ATM are not well represented here. Newsagents, money services kiosks and transport hubs like airports and train stations, for example, are at the tail-end of the chart.

Now we come to the stats on ATM makers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, ATM pioneer Lamassu leads the way, but the extent to which it is leading is remarkable. It dominates the share of installed ATMs with 40% of the pie. Its rival Robocoin, which launched the first installed bitcoin ATM, at Waves coffee house in Vancouver, has only about half the install base.

Meanwhile, relative newcomers BitAccess and Skyhook are gaining ground. The former, currently being put through its paces at the top Silicon Valley startup incubator Y Combinator, already has about half of Robocoin's install base.

The picture is even more revealing when ATM installs by maker are graphed over time. Lamassu's install rate has been consistently higher than Robocoin's, its closest competitor. But even as Lamassu's install-rate continues to climb, Robocoin's appears to be tapering off. Lamassu is opening up a gap between itself and its old competitor that appears to be widening.

Trying to close the gap are BitAccess and Skyhook. Both makers are starting to see sharply rising install rates, although their shares of the market are still relatively small.

Some caveats are necessary here. Our map shows only 49 installed Lamassu units, up to 10th July. The firm has made public statements about the number of units it's sold to date. The last figure was 220 units, as reported by CoinDesk in April. Of that figure, 100 machines have been shipped, while the rest are still in production.

Skyhook said it had shipped 150 units at the end of June.

The other makers don't announce their sales figures. So while our map shows the installations known to us, there appear to be a large number of machines that are either waiting to be installed, or have been installed but are not captured on our map.

July 17 - CoinDesk ATM Map

The ATM makers are already tweaking their business strategies.

Robocoin has repositioned itself as a sort of bitcoin bank, calling its machines 'branches' instead of ATMs. Its new software platform, Robocoin 2.0, pushed out more features, like secure storage and instant, off-blockchain transactions.

Lamassu, meanwhile, is talking up its machines as 'bitcoin portals' now, with the ability to pay bills and perform remittances. This is undergirded by a new focus on a developer ecosystem around its newly open-source operating system, Rakia.

The bitcoin ATM business is rapidly evolving. Cryptocurrency exchange machines are not quite the novelty they once were, attracting headlines and crowds just for being operational.

Machine manufacturers are already evolving their businesses and products. It should be interesting to watch how operators, exchanges, venue owners and, ultimately, consumers adapt to this changing landscape.

Featured image: Nicholas Raymond / Flickr

ATMsBitAccessData AnalysisLamassuRobocoinSkyhook

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