Australia has become a prominent player in the cryptocurrency world, experiencing significant adoption in recent years. In a remarkable development, the country has surpassed El Salvador to become the fourth largest hub for crypto ATMs globally. While El Salvador made headlines as the first country to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, Australia has now outpaced it with a total of 216 crypto ATMs.

Australia bitcoin image.

Back in September 2021, El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, a strong advocate for Bitcoin, initiated the installation of over 200 cryptocurrency ATMs nationwide to support the currency’s legal tender status. At that time, El Salvador ranked third in terms of the number of crypto ATMs, following the United States and Canada. However, in 2022, both Spain and Australia surpassed El Salvador in terms of ATM installations.

Spain, for instance, installed 215 crypto ATMs in October, establishing itself as the third largest hub for crypto ATMs. The country continued its momentum and currently boasts 226 ATMs. Consequently, El Salvador’s position as the fourth largest crypto ATM hub was temporary, as Australia made significant progress in the final quarter of 2022.

According to data from CoinATMRadar, Australia witnessed an impressive surge by installing 99 new cryptocurrency ATMs during the last quarter of 2022. As of January 1, 2023, the country has a total of 219 active crypto ATMs, surpassing El Salvador by 7 ATMs.

Australia’s steady growth suggests that it may soon surpass Asia, which currently has 312 crypto ATMs, accounting for 0.6% of the global total. Notably, despite the prolonged crypto bear market, 6,071 crypto ATMs were set up worldwide in 2022, indicating a resilient industry.

The rise of cryptocurrency adoption in Australia has prompted regulatory bodies to intensify their efforts in overseeing the crypto sector. In September, the Reserve Bank of Australia partnered with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre to explore the potential use cases of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the country. Australia is planning to conduct a CBDC pilot program until mid-2023.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has taken its own measures to promote the adoption of its CBDC, the eNaira. The government has set a weekly limit of $225 (100,000 naira) on ATM withdrawals as part of its strategy to encourage the use of the digital currency.