Are there any Bitcoin ATMs in Africa? If yes, then where are they located?
Finding a Bitcoin ATM in Africa is like the mission impossible movie; you keep searching, yet to no avail. Gosh! This just reminded me of the new mission impossible movie coming to theatres on the 14th of July. Hope you’re watching. I’m not missing it for anything. But, let’s get back to the topic… (rewind) Bitcoin ATMs.
Well, as difficult as it may seem to find a Bitcoin ATM in Africa, they actually do exist. Yh! They do. Now you would be asking, where? Chill, I will spill the tea.
It’s going to be a pretty wild ride, but I’ll try to explore this mildly. Before I actually tell you the secret locations of these Bitcoin ATMs, it’s proper to explain what a Bitcoin ATM is. It may sound new to some of my wonderful readers.
What Are Bitcoin ATMs?
Automated Teller Machines are those machines where people like you and I insert our debit/credit cards to withdraw money or transact some financial processes. But this time, with Bitcoin ATM, you do not withdraw or transact on traditional money like Naira or USD but Bitcoin.
With Bitcoin ATMs, you can buy or sell Bitcoin with your cash or card. They were made to create more access for people to use their crypto whenever they want. I mean, imagine you’re a tourist who’s out of cash, and the network’s bad. How can you have access to your mobile wallet? Here comes your saviour, Bitcoin ATM. Where you can withdraw your Bitcoin as cash or maybe transfer BTC to another user. I wrote an article already on How To Use Bitcoin ATMs; you should check it out.
Bitcoin ATMs are really increasing in numbers in some parts of the world. And they are a lifesaver, especially in places where traditional ATMs are limited. And the good thing is you don’t even need a bank account or card to use these ATMs.
But just like how every good thing has its pros, there are a few cons about Bitcoin ATMs. One of them is that they don’t always offer the best rates compared to what other trading methods would offer. Bitcoin ATMs cannot give you a smiley exchange rate like what the Breet app will give you. So you see? Do the maths yourself.
Also, fees can be higher depending on the location of the Bitcoin ATM and the machine itself. This one is funny sha. Just like how you buy things cheaper at a local market than at a supermarket. Now imagine if the Bitcoin ATM is located in a busy and business-oriented area like Lagos. Funny enough, there are actually two in Lagos. First tea spilt!
How Many Bitcoin ATMs Are In Africa?
As of April 2023, according to CoinATMRadar, there are only 27 Bitcoin ATMs in Africa. 21 in South Africa, 2 in Nigeria, 1 in Kenya, 1 in Djibouti, 1 in Botswana, and 1 in Zimbabwe. As you can tell, obviously, South Africa tops the chart for this one in Africa, leading with 21 Bitcoin ATMs. 5 in Cape Town, 7 in Johannesburg, 7 in Durban, 1 in Port Elizabeth, and 1 in Pretoria.
There are 2 Bitcoin ATMs in Nigeria. And with no surprise, 2 of them are located in Lagos, Nigeria. 1 at Dazey Lounge and Bar, Ajah, and the other at CI Crypto solutions, Ikeja.
There’s only 1 Bitcoin ATM in Kenya which is located at Kenrail Towers, Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya. 1 also in Djibouti, which is located at Djibouti One & Strong (DOS).
Additionally, there’s also only 1 Bitcoin ATM in Botswana located at Airport Junction Mall, Gaborone. And lastly, 1 in Zimbabwe situated at Batanai Gardens, Harare.
Just like I did, you may be wondering why there are only a few Bitcoin ATMs in Africa. I mean, the States alone has a whopping 29320 Bitcoin ATMs. The US leads as the country with the most Bitcoin ATMs currently. While I thought about that, I realised that Bitcoin is still a new concept in Africa, and not many people are familiar with it. Secondly, it will be difficult to erect Bitcoin ATMs in Africa due to the harsh regulatory environment. I mean, in my last article, I lamented how ridiculous it is for Nigeria to ban cryptocurrency in Nigeria.
Now imagine having these restrictions on cryptocurrency, how do we expect crypto itself to grow when the governmental body fights against it? So, it will be gruelling to have Bitcoin ATMs more commonly. I must give big props to the few people who enacted the little we have now. We do appreciate it! I believe that in the coming years, more people will be interested in Bitcoin and maybe, just maybe, the government will make some U-turns.
Also, something I noticed was that the few Bitcoins ATMs we have in Africa are mostly located in major cities and tourist attractions. You see places like Airports, Bars, or Train stations. I (think) it is because it is believed these are places where Bitcoin ATMs will be more recognised.
Bitcoin ATMs are still a rarity in Africa, not so many but they do exist. If you’re looking to buy or sell Bitcoin in Africa with a Bitcoin ATM, your best bet is to look for a Bitcoin ATM in a major city or tourist destination. I have done an insightful job by giving some exact locations. LOL, I need a raise!
While the number of Bitcoin ATMs in Africa is currently small, it’s expected to grow in the coming years as more people become interested in Bitcoin. So, keep an eye out for these futuristic machines, and who knows, you might just stumble upon one on your next trip to Africa. If you’re outside Africa of course! Hmm! I should be checking out the one in Ajah.