Crypto ATMs Vanish: Over 5,700 Machines Removed in 2023 Amid Regulatory Pressure

The Great Crypto ATM Purge: How 2023 Became the First Year of Negative Growth

The year 2023 was a bleak one for the crypto industry, as the global economic crisis and regulatory crackdowns led to a sharp drop in the number of crypto ATMs around the world. According to data from Coin ATM Radar, over 5,700 crypto ATMs were removed from service in 2023, marking the first time that the annual growth rate of crypto ATMs turned negative.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath had a devastating impact on the demand and supply of crypto ATMs in 2023. Many countries imposed lockdowns and travel restrictions, which reduced the foot traffic and customer base of crypto ATMs. Moreover, the economic downturn and inflationary pressures eroded the purchasing power and disposable income of many potential crypto users. As a result, the volume and value of crypto transactions via ATMs plummeted in 2023.

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On the supply side, crypto ATM operators also faced increasing regulatory hurdles and compliance costs in 2023. Many governments tightened their oversight and enforcement of anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) rules for crypto-related businesses, which required crypto ATM operators to obtain licenses, register with authorities, conduct customer verification and report suspicious activities.

Furthermore, some countries outright banned or restricted the use of crypto ATMs in 2023, citing concerns over financial stability, consumer protection and national security. For instance, China, India, Turkey and Nigeria all issued prohibitions or warnings against crypto ATMs in 2023, forcing many operators to shut down or relocate their machines. Other countries, such as Canada, Germany and Switzerland, imposed stricter regulations or higher taxes on crypto ATMs in 2023, making them less attractive or viable for operators and users.

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All these factors contributed to the unprecedented downturn of the crypto ATM industry in 2023, which saw over 5,700 machines decommissioned across the globe, reported News.bitcoin.com. This represented a 12% decline from the previous year, when there were over 6,500 crypto ATMs in operation. The total number of crypto ATMs at the end of 2023 was around 4,800, down from a peak of over 7,000 in mid-2021.

Crypto ATMs, or automated teller machines, are devices that allow users to buy or sell cryptocurrencies with cash or cards. They are often seen as a convenient and accessible way to enter the crypto market, especially for unbanked or underbanked populations. However, they also face many challenges, such as high operational costs, security risks, legal uncertainties and low profitability.

William Ross
About William Ross 158 Articles
I am a cryptocurrency enthusiast and writer with over five years of experience in the industry. I have been following the development and innovation of Bitcoin and Ethereum since their inception, and I enjoy sharing my insights and analysis with readers. I have written for various reputable platforms, such as CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, and Decrypt, covering topics such as market trends, regulation, security, and adoption. I believe that cryptocurrency is the future of finance and technology, and I am passionate about educating and informing people about its benefits and challenges.