There are presently 9007 crypto ATMs and 211,239 non-ATM locations around the world. This means that an individual can now buy or sell crypto assets across 71 countries, according to the cryptocurrency ATM tracking website Coinatmradar.
What you need to know: Nigeria has Africa’s largest population and economy, so its first Bitcoin ATM may be a signal for broader adoption across the continent, as Bitcoin use among Nigerians is gaining steady momentum.
Nigeria’s digital economy is on the rise. With the increased poverty level, more individuals are making an entrance into the global digital economy by providing digital services as freelancers.
However, Nigerians have trouble receiving payments from their foreign clients, as they are not allowed to use even the most famous American based Paypal, and other options like Money Gram and TransferWise are not only expensive and slow but also have inflexible verification systems.
Bitcoin, however, offers them a flexible, almost instant, and cheaper means of receiving cross border payment after rendering their services to clients and companies.
The many economic problems in Nigeria, including inflation and the devaluation of the naira, have made the country’s fiat currency a poor store of value, pushing some to store their value in a deflationary currency like Bitcoin, which can protect its owners from excess money printing from central authorities and other uncertainties.
However, Bitcoin ATMs were the focus of a recent crackdown by the U.S. government when a $25 million operation was taken down with 17 machines seized in California. The owner was running the operation without complying with proper AML requirements, the Department of Justice said.