September 25, 2023

One of the leading economies in Asia – Japan – will once again have cryptocurrency automated teller machines (ATMs). Despite being a financial hub, the country removed all such devices in 2018 after a local stock exchange was hacked.

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs around the world has grown rapidly in recent years. Currently, the undisputed leader is the USA, with almost 34,000 machines.

Japan takes a step towards the Crypto Universe

Japanese authorities have not always been against crypto ATMs. Before the bear market in 2018, the country had many such machines. However, a major hack against digital asset platform Coincheck changed their stance. In early 2018, criminals breached its security and drained nearly $500 million worth of NEM tokens, which forced lawmakers to shut down all cryptocurrency ATMs.

According to a Press release, this trend will no longer continue as local exchange Gaia will install ATMs in Tokyo and Osaka. Initially, the machines will support four of the largest digital assets by market capitalization: Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).

The company plans to deploy 50 crypto ATMs in the next 12 months, with the number growing to 130 over the next three years.

The machines will allow Japanese consumers to withdraw up to 100,000 yen ($747) per transaction, with a 24-hour limit of 300,000 yen ($2,240). This is part of the anti-money laundering guidance that Gaia wants to follow.

Gaia President – ​​Motohiro Ogura – highlighted the move, saying this is the first time a domestic exchange has installed a cryptocurrency ATM in the country.

“There is a sense of security that BTM can be turned into cash immediately. The virtual currency tends to attract attention only for investments, but it also has potential as a settlement currency. I want to expand,” he concluded.

Who’s leading the pack?

When we talk about the number of cryptocurrency ATMs, it is worth highlighting the United States of America, which ranks as the world leader. The country has nearly 34,000 machines, or about ten devices per 100,000 citizens. Canada ranks second with nearly 2,500 crypto ATMs.

Interestingly, due to its small area, the special administrative region of China – Hong Kong – has the highest density of automated teller machines. Residents can find one every 7 km, while Switzerland is second with an ATM every 260 km.

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