In a report published on March 14, 2023 Business browservarious aspects of Bitcoin ATM adoption are analyzed.
In particular, it highlights which countries have the highest usage rates, why, and which are the countries where the presence of Bitcoin ATMs is almost zero.
The report is divided into three key points:
- Countries with a high proportion of unbanked populations are more accepting of cryptocurrencies 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 see rapid growth in cryptocurrency adoption.
- The most prominent and important factor driving cryptocurrency adoption in countries with a high percentage of the unbanked population is the large number of Bitcoin ATMs and the alternative financial solutions offered by blockchain technology.
- Cashless countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Norway and New Zealand have a high percentage of cashless transactions and almost 100% of their population has a bank account. However, they have not installed Bitcoin ATMs and their percentage of cryptocurrency holdings is lower than that of developing countries.
Bitcoin ATMs are present on a large scale in developing countries
Thousands of ATMs have been installed worldwide bitcoins promote cryptocurrency adoption. The United States currently leads with 32,591 machines installed nationwide.
However, there are significant differences in adoption rates between countries where Bitcoin ATMs have been installed and those that have not.
Some countries have been quicker to adopt the cryptocurrency trend due to the need for an alternative financial solution. Today, we present a comparison and cross-section of the necessary data to examine cryptocurrency adoption rates in unbanked and cashless countries.
The tables below show the number of Bitcoin ATMs, cash payments, unbanked population, ownership cryptocurrenciespercentage of cryptocurrency ownership and total population in 14 countries with varying levels of adoption.
The level of adoption ultimately depends on how connected the population is to cash payments and bank accounts.
It is evident that countries with a high percentage of unbanked population have a higher adoption rate of cryptocurrencies. With the expected rise of 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 with 46 Bitcoin ATMs, it is the second largest.
An astonishing 3.4% of the Mexican population owns cryptocurrencies, which is almost three times the adoption rate in more developed countries such as Norway and Denmark.
Similarly, in South Africa, 31% of the population is unbanked, yet 21 Bitcoin ATMs have been installed and 10% of the population own some form of cryptocurrency.
These findings highlight that a 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 to allow the exchange between cash and cryptocurrencies, which would be impossible without traditional access to a bank or credit card.
In contrast, Nordic countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland have a record percentage of cash payments (1%) and almost 100% of the population is connected to traditional banks.
Reasons for low adoption of banking
The data provided highlight the high rate of population without a bank account in some regions of the world, but it is necessary to indicate other contexts and reasons for this situation.
In many unbanked countries, economic or social factors prevent access to financial services. For example, opening and maintaining a bank account can be costly in developing countries, creating barriers for the population.
Infrastructure may also be insufficient to support expanded banking services, and cultural attitudes toward money and trust in financial institutions may also be a factor.
Because cryptocurrencies provide an alternative method of payment, developing countries often use blockchain technology as a replacement for traditional money transfers.
Poverty is another significant problem in highly unbanked countries, where banks often require current 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, confidence has declined in many countries with high levels of poverty.
Government policy can greatly affect the adoption rate of cryptocurrencies.
Countries with less stringent cryptocurrency regulations tend to have higher adoption rates. Additionally, advances in technology have made it easier to use cryptocurrencies with the development of easier-to-use wallets and decentralized exchanges.
Cultural attitudes towards money also play a large role in adoption rates. Developing countries tend to have a bad relationship with their national currencies due to high inflation rates, which can make cryptocurrencies a more attractive alternative.
Overall, the factors that contribute to cryptocurrency adoption rates are many and complex, including economic, social, technological, and cultural factors.
Author: Andrea Porcelli