Four Years Later: Crypto ATMs Back in Japan

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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 following a hack against a local exchange.

The number of cryptocurrency ATMs across the globe has rapidly increased in the past few years. Currently, the undisputed leader is the USA, with nearly 34,000 machines.

Japan Takes a Step Toward the Crypto Universe

The Japanese authorities have not always been against crypto ATMs. Prior to the bear market in 2018, the country had plenty of such machines. However, a major hack against the digital asset platform Coincheck changed their stance. At the beginning of 2018, wrongdoers breached its security and drained nearly $500 million worth of its NEM tokens, which caused lawmakers to shut all cryptocurrency ATMs.

According to a press release, this trend will no longer continue since the 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, while their number should increase to 130 in the next three years.


The machines will enable Japanese consumers to withdraw a maximum of 100,000 yen ($747) per transaction, while the max cap for 24 hours will be 300,000 yen ($2,240). This is part of the anti-money-laundering guidance that Gaia wants to follow.

The President of Gaia – Motohiro Ogura – highlighted the move, saying this is the first time a domestic exchange installs cryptocurrency ATMs in the country.

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

Who Leads the Pack?

When speaking of the number of cryptocurrency ATMs, it is worth pointing out to the United States of America, which ranks as the global leader. The country has almost 34,000 machines, or around ten devices per 100,000 citizens. Canada takes the second spot with nearly 2,500 crypto ATMs.

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


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