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Bitcoin ATMs becoming more mainstream, increasing by 4,200% worldwide

By Ryan Morris-Reade
Fri 11 Mar 2022

Bankless Times has recently carried out research that highlights an increase of 4,200% in global Bitcoin ATMs in the past six years. 

The data shows that there are now over 14,900 Bitcoin ATMs globally, an increase of more than 4200% in six years. While on average, the number of Bitcoin ATMs is growing 198% annually.

The company says the list of vendors accepting crypto payments is also growing, and intermediary services such as BitPay allow businesses to accept payments made by crypto.

Cryptocurrencies have become more mainstream than ever, especially as meme coins such as Dogecoin have been featured on prime-time television alongside Elon Musk. Bankless Times says awareness of crypto is at an all-time high, particularly as fears of inflation grip the markets and the conflict in Ukraine elevates the importance of censorship-resistant assets.

However, the company says critics have long argued that cryptocurrencies should not be defined as currencies since they cannot be spent anywhere. And more staunch opponents have even mockingly referred to cryptos as the internet's 'magic beans' implying they are nothing but a scam.

Cryptocurrency acceptance - A rising trend?

Bankless Times research found that while buying and selling cryptocurrencies have become increasingly popular, the opportunities to spend digital currencies directly are limited in comparison.

Large firms have typically used intermediary services such as BitPay to accept cryptocurrency payments, but only a handful of companies accept crypto payments directly. Some of these have been outlined below.

Something that falls under cryptocurrency acceptance is the number of Bitcoin ATMs that have been distributed and placed inside businesses. Research shows that the number of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide has increased exponentially since 2015 and shows no signs of slowing down.

Companies accepting crypto payments directly include:

Mastercard
In November 2021, Mastercard announced a partnership with Bakkt Holdings to enable their consumers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies on a digital wallet. Mastercard is by far one of the largest companies in the world to offer cryptocurrency services.

Wikipedia
As a non-profit organization, Wikipedia relies heavily on donations from users worldwide. According to their website, there are several accepted payment methods, including PayPal, Amazon Pay, and BitPay, a crypto payment system.

The accepted cryptos include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum.

Virgin Galactic
Sir Richard Branson announced in 2013 that his commercial space flight venture would accept Bitcoin as payment for a journey into space. In a blog post posted on his website, Branson revealed that a lady from Hawaii had become the first to purchase using the cryptocurrency.

Ukrainian Government
While not a company, the circumstances certainly warrant a mention. The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has given rise to several unprecedented events.

Soon after the invasion began, the government started accepting cryptocurrency donations on their official Twitter account. Recent research shows that citizens from both countries have flocked to crypto as a means to escape the uncertainty of their country's banking system.

Tesla
Tesla, the world's leading electric vehicle manufacturer, has started accepting Dogecoin as payment for its Tesla merchandise. This comes after CEO Elon Musk suspended Bitcoin payments due to environmental concerns just months after announcing support for the crypto.

The Dallas Mavericks
The billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, has long been an advocate of Bitcoin. In 2019, the Mavericks became one of the first teams in the NBA to accept Bitcoin payments for ticket sales and merchandise.

ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN is one of the world's most popular virtual private network (VPN) providers. Millions of users worldwide use the service, and several payment methods are accepted. BitPay facilitates crypto payments, and accepted coins include Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, and more.

Companies considering crypto payments

Cryptocurrencies are in the spotlight again, and more people than ever are looking for ways to purchase items using digital currencies.

None of the large eCommerce platforms have announced support for crypto payments; however, this might change. For example, while it is possible to buy Amazon gift cards with crypto through intermediaries, the company hasn't announced support for crypto directly.

eBay
In May 2021, eBay started allowing non-fungible token (NFT) sales on its platform in an effort to attract crypto enthusiasts.

Payment for these items can only be made using fiat currencies such as the USD or GBP; however, in a recent interview, the CEO revealed that they are considering other forms of payment, which Bankless Times says might be a nod at cryptocurrencies.

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