Do Bitcoin ATMs really drive in-store traffic?

Find out what other c-store operators have to say.

Earlier this year, Sydney, N.S.-based independent Mac’s Convenience became the first convenience store on Cape Breton Island to feature a Bitcoin ATM. “At first I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how it matched with our primary customer base,” says Mac’s co-owner Leanne Boutilier.

Nearly one quarter (23.2%) of the city’s population is 65 and over, which didn’t exactly figure to be a group likely to care about Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. “I thought it might be a bit of a mismatch,” Boutilier admits.

But Boutilier also prides herself on being a progressive operator, so when Localcoin—which bills itself as Canada’s largest Bitcoin ATM network—first approached her about installing the Bitcoin ATM, she was intrigued.

“They felt it might be worth exploring that opportunity,” says Boutilier. “So, after a little bit of back-and-forth, we decided to go for it.”

A Toronto-based company with more than 500 cryptocurrency terminals across eight provinces, Localcoin has been growing its presence in Atlantic Canada, installing ATMs in markets including Halifax, Dartmouth and Moncton, NB.

The machines dispense Bitcoin to a customers’ crypto wallet after cash is inserted, a process that takes only a minute or two to complete. Because the Bitcoin ATM accepts only cash, Boutilier strategically placed it next to the store’s traditional ATM at the back of the store.

It turns out that her misgivings about having a Bitcoin ATM in her store were largely misplaced. It has proven to be a popular addition at Mac’s, with customers—including some of her older clientele—using the machine on a daily basis.

Its users also often go on to purchase traditional c-store items, exactly the kind of behaviour Boutilier had hoped for when she installed the machine.

“They might grab a lotto ticket, a beverage or a snack while they’re in,” she says. “It’s definitely a win-win for sure.”

According to, an online resource that tracks ATMs that dispense Bitcoin and other forms of cryptocurrency, there are more than 2,100 Bitcoin ATMs/tellers in Canada, including more than 700 in Toronto alone. C-stores comprise a major part of the rollout.

Major operators including Canco Petroleum and Couche-Tard’s Circle K are all installing Bitcoin ATMs in their stores. In July, Circle K announced an exclusive partnership with Bitcoin Depot that sees 700 Bitcoin ATMs installed in stores across 30 states and provinces including British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and New Brunswick.

Denny Tewell, Circle K’s senior vice-president of global merchandise and procurement, says the company is committed to enhancing customers’ in-store experience and making them their favourite stop for different needs and occasions.

The Bitcoin Deport partnership, he says, gives the c-store brand an “important, early presence” in the cryptocurrency marketplace.

More recently, Bitcoin Well announced that it is expanding its relationship with the traditional ATM operator RapidCash ATM to deploy more than 100 ATMs featuring its proprietary Bitcoin ATM software ghostATM in Canco Petroleum’s Canadian convenience stores.


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