El Salvador rolls out 200 Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs

Mon 20 Sep 2021 ▪ 11h33 ▪ 3 min read — by Katie Donaldson

El Salvador comes in third place among countries with the highest number of Bitcoin ATMs across the world, behind the United States and Canada. To power installed ATMS, the Salvadoran government has partnered with Chivo, a cryptocurrency wallet provider.

Salvador, Bitcoin, Crypto, BTC

Bitcoin continues to conquer El Salvador

According to previous information from 16th August, the country ranked 43rd on the list with just four crypto ATMs. Since then El Salvador has managed to successfully install 201 ATMs. Beforehand, the country ranked 43rd on the list with just four functional crypto ATMs.

Country’s Bitcoin ATMs account for 0.7% of all such machines worldwide, while the US and Canada account for 86.4% and 6.6%, respectively. El Salvador has even exceeded the number of Bitcoin ATM machines installed in the United Kingdom. 

According to El Salvador President Nayib Bukele’ Twitter, the country has just purchased 150 Bitcoin, adding to its previous purchase of 400 BTC.

Not such a smooth ride

El Salvador’s Bitcoin adoption has resulted in many protests from the country’s citizens. Those criticising the BTC adoption highlighted concerns regarding uncertainty, price fluctuation and lack of exposure to the crypto market.

Another issue that both opposition party members and citizens have is the asset’s volatility. Many in the country have drawn attention to salary payments, which could be seriously affected by it. However, Bukele continues to remind people that they have a right to continue using dollars.

At the moment it is unclear where the BTC adoption will take El Salvador. Bukele, as well as crypto maxis, seem to have high hopes for the future. They believe the move will help to attract entrepreneurs and investment. 

Financial regulators from all over the world disagree. The International Monetary Fund issued a statement saying that there would be macroeconomic and legal issues related to the move. The World Bank has outright said that it would deny assistance to the country, adding to its woes.

While other governments are still deciding on Bitcoin’s use case as a mainstream asset, an average of 63.7 ATMs continue to get installed every day across the globe. ATM installations are at an all-time high with 27,664 active machines, and 2,790 new machines being added in September. 

It’s too early to talk about any long-term effects of making Bitcoin legal tender — they will become apparent only a couple of years down the line.

El Salvador now has the third-largest network of crypto ATMs after the United States and Canada.

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Katie Donaldson avatar
Katie Donaldson

I went full time crypto back in June 2018, and have never looked back. I want to help persuade as many people as possible to come and build the decentralised future! Let’s go!


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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