Global Bitcoin ATM Count Falls After 10 Months of Bullish Momentum

By Indigo White
Published in News
May 26, 2024
2 min read
Global Bitcoin ATM Count Falls After 10 Months of Bullish Momentum

After ten months of continuous growth, the global count of Bitcoin ATMs declined in May. This decrease is mainly due to the removal of over 300 ATMs in the United States, which make up more than 80% of the global market for these machines. This marks the end of a growth streak that started in July 2023.

According to CoinATMRadar, the top platform for accessing the full map and crypto ATM directory, the global number of machines dropped from 37,902 to 37,621 in May. The United States led this decline, losing 302 machines, with Canada in second place, losing 28.

Though no clear reasons have surfaced to explain this removal, it’s believed to be tied to US law enforcement efforts targeting crypto ATMs, which always allege they’re used for extortion and scams. Following the United States and Canada, Australia boasts the third-highest number of machines at 1,054, representing 2.8% of the global total.

What arguments do law enforcement rely on? Let’s consider what happened last year with General Bytes, a well-known manufacturer of Bitcoin ATMs. The company faced a security breach resulting in $1.5 million in BTC theft. GB founder, Karel Kyovsky, revealed how the crime unfolded: the hacker managed to load their own Java app onto the ATMs, gain access to the database, download usernames and passwords, and deactivate the 2FA.

GB posted this announcement on X:

“On March 17-18th, 2023, GENERAL BYTES experienced a security incident… We released a statement urging customers to take immediate action to protect their personal information… We urge all our customers to take immediate action to protect their funds and personal information and carefully read the security bulletin listed here”.

General Bytes also announced that its standalone servers and cloud service were compromised:

“Securing a system that grants access to multiple operators simultaneously, especially when some may have malicious intent, is theoretically (and practically) impossible. We recommend operators to set up a standalone server”.

bitcoin atm
Published in Coinmonks (Cryptozone Africa)

Bitcoin ATMs in other regions.

In Europe, Spain boasts the highest number of Bitcoin ATMs (311), followed by Poland (285), Germany (195), Romania (139), Switzerland (130), Austria (117), Italy (87), and the Czech Republic (72). Currently, Bitcoin is priced at $67,031, according to CoinMarketCap.

Latin America’s landscape is noteworthy too: El Salvador leads with 215 ATMs, trailed by Mexico (75) and Colombia (48), while Argentina and Brazil tie for last place with 9 each. We suggest delving into this post on the crypto sector in Latin America.

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