From its high of $20,000, Bitcoin has fallen precipitously to its recent low of $7848 (CMC spot) — a 60% correction in 2 weeks. Whether you bought at the top or somewhere in between, our feelings are mutual: THIS SUCKS! Bitcoin continues on a downward trajectory and has already broken strong support around $8,800. The next significant support is ~$5,700, and by all appearances we are on our way there. The worst part is that the entire market continues to blindly follow BTC through its collapse.
Bitcoin ATM installations Outpacing Traditional ATMs
Some investors are weathering the storm confidently while others have jumped ship. One group has proven resilient despite market conditions, however: Bitcoin ATM providers. Installations have gone parabolic over past weeks/months, as seen below.
136 Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) were installed during the market pullback alone, bringing the worldwide total to 2177 as tracked by CoinATMRadar.com. On average, 5 BTM locations spring up every day. This is just one more example of how the crypto ecosystem continues to grow, despite depressing market sentiment.
The United States still dominates the BTM industry with 1296 locations nationwide. This is a marked 30% increase since we last covered this development in October 2017. Canada and the UK follow with 340 locations and 109 locations respectively.
Bitcoin ATMs Expand Access to Top Cryptocurrencies
BTMs are beginning to pop up everywhere. Las Angeles alone boasts 165 units, and New York has 127. They offer quick, easy access to anyone needing to acquire and use Bitcoin on the fly. Transactions are instant, but this convenience comes at a price. Buying Bitcoin incurs a ~9% fee, while selling fetches a 7% fee.
In addition to Bitcoin, many locations offer Litecoin (905), Ether (332), and DASH (173) as well. Of the 2177 total BTMs, 944 of them offer some sort of altcoin support, and some of them even offer Dogecoin and/or Monero.
Until recently, fiat could be converted to crypto with nothing more than cash in your pocket. Personal details were unnecessary, and transactions could be made anonymously. This was great for innocent users to take advantage of, but it also allowed black market operatives easy access. Most BTM manufacturers are beginning to incorporate identification features now to comply with increasing regulation. Operators may opt to disable those features but are often mandated to use them. Some locations are still able to be used anonymously, but generally a phone number is required. BTMs remain the go-to resource for private transactions, however. Exchanges maintain an arsenal of client data, while BTMs do not. They help distance users from centralized banks and exchanges and keep private details safe. Anyone off-put by the phone number requirement can sidestep using a burn phone.
Unfortunately, I was not able to find out how much Bitcoin is traded through these avenues compared to LTC, ETH or other offerings. That would be interesting info, as it would represent how raw use cases of top cryptocurrencies are evolving as their networks compete. As BTC network fees escalate out of control, I would imagine ETH and LTC are gaining on BTC in this respect.
At any rate, the confidence in the BTM market tells a different story than the exchange market. While currencies are subject to FUD and manipulation, ecosystem figures are immune. The best way to guage the health of crypto in general is to look at real usage, adoption, and infrastructure growth. Fortunately for us all, that continues to be very much a growth story.
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