The Bitcoin ATM Market Heats Up: Predictions for 2022 and Beyond
Updated: May 23, 2022
Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are still hot phrases both in the investing world and government regulation. Much like the infancy of the internet and the DOT-COM era of the early 1990s, news worldwide continues to make the crypto world an exciting, and growing, technology and payments space. Here are a couple predictions industry experts are keeping an eye on in 2022 and beyond.
Growth of Crypto in Developing Markets
Back in 2021, El Salvador was the first country to officially accept Bitcoin as legal tender. Why? Because the country’s president saw the opportunity for cryptocurrency to expand financial inclusion, investment and development. As decentralized currency, crypto provided the added benefit of allowing the millions of Salvadorans living abroad to exchange money more freely with their family back home. And being able to make purchases without having to convert the digital currency into legal tender means even fewer fees for residents of El Salvador.
The benefits for people in developing countries is clear, especially when it comes to money transfers, person-to-person payments, and sharing of familial wealth across borders. While El Salvador led the way, experts anticipate it will not be the last government to announce legal acceptance of one or more types of crypto – opening a huge opportunity for proliferation of digital wallet technologies and Bitcoin ATMs.
Environmental Impact Comes to the Fore
Crypto mining requires expensive, high-powered hardware competing for the opportunity to verify data blocks. Why the competition? Because the system who manages to verify first wins the transaction fees. This process is referred to as Proof-of-Work (PoW). But recent studies from Cambridge University have shown the processes behind Bitcoin alone consume more energy in a year than the entire country of Argentina. The impact is large enough that Sweden has put out a call to ban cryptocurrency throughout Europe. The majority of Britons (45%) are of a similar opinion, according to recent data from YouGov.
But cryptocurrency Ethereum (ETH), the 2nd largest crypto coin, claims to be close to a solution with Ethereum 2.0. The system will use a new format requiring validators to lock up, or stake, 23 ETH they cannot spend to verify a data block and gain the associated fees. Called Proof-of-Stake (PoS), the process is designed to allow more people to earn Ethereum without the need for expensive hardware or extensive energy consumption. It also serves to further decentralize the network and provide more resistance to attack. Experts anticipate Ethereum’s launch of PoS will pave the way for other cryptocurrency to make the move away from PoW and become greener.
Despite ongoing controversy and roadblocks, the cryptocurrency market continues to find ways and opportunities to grow. Updating technology and availability for consumers to generate, access, and share currency is the key to providing crypto coin with deeper market penetration and staying power.
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