Over the last six months, Bitcoin (BTC) recorded numerous milestones — El Salvador’s mainstream adoption, a new all-time high of $69,000 and a stronger-than-ever network hash rate. However, for the first time in history, global Bitcoin ATM installations in the first two months have slowed down when compared to the preceding year.
Bitcoin ATM installations in the first two months of the year have historically increased year-over-year, as evidenced by data from Coin ATM Radar. The trend, however, breaks this year.
Overall Bitcoin ATM installations. Source: Coin ATM Radar
Considering only January and February 2022, a total of 1,817 crypto ATMs have been installed worldwide. In the same timeframe last year, 2,435 crypto ATMs were installed, which is 618 ATMs more when compared to this year.
In 2020, only 760 ATMs were installed in this timeframe, which overshadowed 2019’s 250 ATM installations.
One of the main reasons for the momentary slowdown can be attributed to the lack of involvement from newer jurisdictions. For example, the United States alone contributed to 93% of the total global crypto ATM installations in 2022 with 1,689 new ATMs.
Global crypto ATM distribution. Source: Coin ATM Radar
On the other hand, Bitcoin ATMs in Europe were reduced by 1 ATM in the first two months, going down to a total of 1,397 ATMs. At the time of writing, North America represents over 95% of total crypto ATM installations with 34,284 ATMs.
World map of Bitcoin ATMs. Source: Coin ATM Radar
There are a total of 36,067 ATMs installed currently. Despite a slower start to the year, crypto ATM installations are expected to grow as jurisdictions such as El Salvador plans to deploy 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs.
Unless more governments amp up their efforts to crypto adoption, the ATM installations will find it difficult to maintain an upward trajectory as existing crypto-friendly countries reach saturation in terms of installing new crypto and Bitcoin ATMs.
One of the immediate positive effects of Bitcoin adoption for El Salvador is a sudden spike on tourism. Salvadoran Tourism Minister Morena Valdez said on Feb. 22 that the country’s tourism industry surged more than 30% since the adoption of the Bitcoin law in September 2021.
As Cointelegraph reported, Valdez said that El Salvador’s tourism growth exceeded the government’s expectations, reaching 1.4 million visitors instead of 1.1 million tourists, adding:
“We had projected $800,000 in foreign exchange but we obtained more than $1,400 million of income in foreign currency”