How To

How To Use a Bitcoin ATM: The Ultimate Guide to Crypto ATMs

Author  Lorien Strydom
Last updated: April 11, 2023
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A Bitcoin ATM is a physical device that allows you to buy or sell bitcoins for cash.

Most importantly, it is a two-way machine, meaning that you can both buy and sell bitcoins on the same machine.

In this guide, we will show you how to use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell bitcoins. We will also give you some tips on how to find the best ATMs near you.

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide:

👉 Jump to the steps to use a Bitcoin ATM

    What Is a Bitcoin ATM?

    A Bitcoin ATM is an automated teller machine (ATM) that is connected to the internet and allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It effectively exchanges Bitcoin for Fiat currencies.

    Bitcoin ATMs work similarly to traditional ATMs, with the added feature of being able to deposit cash which results in the purchase of cryptocurrency.

    Customers can also sell their Bitcoin through the machine, though this does not involve any physical cash being taken out.

    The machines are standalone and internet-connected, allowing people to bypass traditional financial institutions when buying or selling crypto.

    Note that according to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, all Bitcoin ATM operators must be registered as Money Service Businesses.

    Benefits of Using a Bitcoin ATM?

    1. Low Fees Compared To Other Bitcoin Purchases

    Bitcoin ATM fees are typically lower than those associated with other methods of bitcoin purchase.

    For example, online exchanges often charge transaction fees ranging from 1% to 5% of the total purchase amount, whereas Bitcoin ATMs typically have lower fees of between 5-10%.

    Many online exchanges require users to provide personal information like their name and address before they can make a purchase, while Bitcoin ATMs allow users to remain anonymous by only requiring a phone number or email address.

    2. Easy To Use

    Getting Bitcoin cash is easy with Bitcoin ATM operators throughout the US. You simply need your crypto wallet details and select the number of Bitcoins you want to buy or sell.

    Transactions are fast and you’ll typically get a confirmation within minutes. Only if the network is heavily congested may it take up to an hour to complete.

    3. Fast Transaction Times

    Using a Bitcoin ATM is similar to using an online exchange in that both provide a way to purchase Bitcoin quickly and easily.

    With a bitcoin ATM, users can buy up to $12,500 worth of Bitcoin per day and receive it instantly. However, unlike online exchanges, bitcoin ATMs do not keep any copies of users’ private keys so they have full control over their funds.

    4. Anonymous Transactions

    Using Bitcoin ATMs help with anonymous transactions because it relies on cash. Credit cards are more traceable than cash, so using a crypto ATM allows users to stay anonymous.

    The blockchain records all Bitcoin transactions, but it does not associate the user’s identity with that record. Therefore, using a crypto ATM ensures that transactions remain anonymous.

    Furthermore, many online exchanges require users to provide personal wallet information such as their name and address before they can make a purchase, while Bitcoin ATM models allow users to remain anonymous by only requiring a phone number or email address.

    5. Accessible 24/7

    Bitcoin ATMs are accessible 24/7, allowing users to trade crypto anytime, anywhere.

    Bitcoin ATMs provide a secure way to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, as they require users to enter their wallet address and receive a receipt for their transaction.

    Additionally, many bitcoin ATMs offer features such as cash withdrawal services or the ability to buy multiple currencies with one transaction.

    Some machines even provide tutorials on how to use them correctly or provide information about different cryptocurrencies.

    6. Allows for a Variety of Cryptocurrencies To Be Purchased

    The cryptocurrencies that you can buy via crypto ATMs in the US may vary depending on the specific ATM and its operator.

    However, the most common cryptocurrencies that can be bought using crypto ATMs in the US include:

    1. Bitcoin (BTC)
    2. Ethereum (ETH)
    3. Litecoin (LTC)
    4. Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
    5. Monero (XMR)

    It’s worth noting that not all crypto ATMs support every type of cryptocurrency, so it’s important to check the available options at the specific ATM before attempting to buy or sell any cryptocurrency.

    Also, the availability of cryptocurrencies may vary by location, as certain states or regions may have different regulations or restrictions regarding the use of crypto ATMs.

    7. Allows for the Direct Conversion of Fiat Currency To Cryptocurrency

    Using a Bitcoin ATM allows for the direct conversion of fiat currency to cryptocurrency through a simple process.

    First, the user inserts cash into the machine and selects their desired cryptocurrency.

    The ATM then immediately converts the cash into cryptocurrency and transfers it directly to the user’s digital wallet.

    This process is fast, and easy, and allows users to avoid transaction fees incurred when using traditional payment methods such as credit cards or bank transfers.

    8. Store Cryptocurrency In a Wallet

    Using a Bitcoin ATM helps with the storage of cryptocurrency in a wallet by providing an easy and convenient way to purchase Bitcoin.

    Thanks to Bitcoin ATM companies, you can quickly and easily purchase Bitcoin without having to find and download a digital wallet.

    Also, many of these Bitcoin machines offer free-of-cost services that allow you to store and manage your cryptocurrency conveniently.

    10. Allows for the Withdrawal of Fiat Currency

    Using these ATMs can help with the withdrawal of fiat currency because it allows users to sell Bitcoin instantly for cash.

    This allows users to access their funds quickly and easily without going through traditional financial institutions such as banks or credit card companies.

    Additionally, some Bitcoin ATMs have the capability for both types of transactions (depositing cash and withdrawing it).

    Where Do I Find a Bitcoin ATM Near Me?

    There are currently more than 33,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the US and you can view a list of ATMs by state, operation type, and the coins they support.

    Source: Coin ATM Radar

    How To Use a Bitcoin ATM

    Steps

    1. Get a Crypto Wallet
    2. Enter Your Information
    3. Insert Cash Into the ATM
    4. Set Up Your Transaction
    5. Receive Your Cryptocurrency
    Step 1

    Get a Crypto Wallet

    Compare crypto wallets and choose one that suits your needs. Most wallets allow you to store and manage your cryptocurrency quickly and conveniently, free of cost.

    Be sure to download the mobile app to conveniently use it on your mobile device.

    Once you have a wallet, link it to a bank account or credit card so you can fund it with Fiat currency to make purchases using Bitcoin ATMs or other services that require Fiat currency as payment.

    Step 2

    Enter Your Information

    Select the amount you wish to purchase and enter your phone number, name, and email address on the following screens.

    For purchases of $1,001 or higher, submit a photo of your ID for verification purposes.

    You will receive a text with a 5-digit verification code which you must enter to proceed with the transaction.

    After entering this code correctly you can make your purchase.

    Step 3

    Insert Cash Into the ATM

    Double-check all transaction info and insert the required amount of cash into the ATM.

    The inserted amount of cash will display on the screen, as well as the amount of BTC that you will receive in return.

    Note down or memorize the Bitcoin wallet address to which bitcoins will be sent so that you can send them later on if needed.

    Step 4

    Set Up Your Transaction

    Enter your Bitcoin wallet address into the ATM. Most ATMs allow you to use QR codes for convenience.

    Double-check that you have entered the correct address and amount before sending funds through the ATM transaction process.

    Insert cash into the ATM and confirm that it is the correct amount required for your transaction before completing it by pressing “Send”.

    If everything is correct, confirm your transaction by entering a valid PIN or Touch ID password on your phone if applicable, then press “Confirm” on the screen to complete it successfully.

    Step 5

    Receive Your Cryptocurrency

    When finished, print your receipt or have it emailed to you as proof of purchase.

    Your cryptocurrency will be delivered within 10 to 15 minutes after purchase, depending on the type of cryptocurrency purchased.

    It may take a few minutes for your crypto to hit your wallet due to processing via blockchain technology.

    To Sell Your Bitcoin at an ATM

    Steps

    1. Insert Cash
    2. Get an Estimate
    3. Enter Your Wallet Address
    4. Confirmation
    Step 1

    Insert Cash

    Find your nearest Bitcoin ATM and insert cash into the machine.

    Step 2

    Get an Estimate

    The ATM will provide an estimate of how many Bitcoins you can get based on the amount of cash entered and current market rates (displayed onscreen).

    Step 3

    Enter Your Wallet Address

    Enter your wallet address or scan your QR code. (If you don’t have a wallet already, there are plenty of free options online).

    Step 4

    Confirmation

    Confirm your transaction details and wait for it to be processed.

    You should receive confirmation within minutes if all goes well; in some cases, it may take up to one hour depending on network congestion levels.

    Summary

    Bitcoin ATMs are a great way to buy or sell Bitcoin. They are quick, easy to use, and can be found in many locations around the world.

    It’s an easy way to purchase crypto or exchange your crypto for Fiat currency in just a few minutes. Although some transactions may require identity verification, it’s a very easy way to use your purchased Bitcoin.

    FAQs

    What is a Bitcoin ATM?

    A Bitcoin ATM is an automated teller machine (ATM) that is connected to the internet and allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

    It functions similarly to a regular bank ATM, with the added feature of allowing users to deposit cash which results in a purchase of cryptocurrency.

    Customers can also sell their Bitcoin through the machine, but this does not involve any physical cash being taken out.

    The internet-connected kiosks are a way for people to bypass traditional financial institutions when buying or selling crypto-assets.

    What Cryptocurrencies Can I Buy Using a Bitcoin ATM?

    Most Bitcoin ATMs only support Bitcoin, but some also support Ethereum, Litecoin, and other altcoins.

    What Do I Need To Use a Bitcoin ATM?

    To use a Bitcoin ATM, you will need a Bitcoin wallet address. This is where your cryptocurrency will be sent after you have made your purchase.

    You can get a crypto wallet online.

    How Do I Use a Bitcoin ATM?

    To buy Bitcoin with an ATM:

    • Find a Bitcoin ATM near you using Coin ATM Radar.
    • Insert cash into the ATM (most machines will accept bills, but some only accept coins).
    • Enter your Bitcoin wallet address.
    • The ATM will then generate a paper receipt with a QR code that contains your Bitcoin wallet address and the amount of BTC you purchased.

    To sell your Bitcoin with an ATM:

    • Find your nearest Bitcoin ATM and insert cash into the machine.
    • The ATM will provide an estimate of how many Bitcoins you can get based on the amount of cash entered and current market rates (displayed onscreen).
    • Enter your wallet address or scan your QR code. (If you don’t have a wallet already, there are plenty of free options online).
    • Confirm your transaction details and wait for it to be processed.
    • You should receive confirmation within minutes if all goes well; in some cases, it may take up to one hour depending on network congestion levels.

    What are the fees associated with using a Bitcoin ATM?

    The fees associated with using a Bitcoin ATM vary depending on the machine and location. On average, customers can expect to pay around 5-8% for each transaction.

    Some devices may also charge additional fees, such as the “network fee” which goes to the operators of the Bitcoin network itself, not the exchange.

    What Information Do I Need To Provide To Use a Bitcoin ATM?

    To use a Bitcoin ATM, users are required to provide an ID, such as a driver’s license or passport, to comply with federal regulations.

    In some cases, the user must complete the KYC (Know Your Customer) process and provide additional information such as their Social Security Number or Biometrics.

    Some services require simple verifications via SMS or user ID images which are used to verify that the image matches the presented ID.

    All financial transactions get logged in the blockchain without linking identities with Bitcoin wallets for added privacy protection.

    How Secure Is Buying Bitcoin with an ATM?

    Buying Bitcoin with a Bitcoin ATM is extremely secure due to the state-of-the-art software and special precautions taken by operators.

    The digital wallets used for transactions are encrypted and protected by passwords, making them virtually impossible to hack.

    Since cryptocurrency can only be sent if you share the correct passwords and security credentials with another person, there is no need to be concerned about hacking.

    Furthermore, the blockchain technology that supports cryptocurrencies is virtually impossible to tamper with; therefore buying Bitcoin through a BTC ATM is considered to be very safe.

    Are There Any Other Services Available At a Bitcoin ATM?

    Yes, some Bitcoin ATMs offer additional services such as the ability to buy other cryptocurrencies or to exchange your Bitcoin for cash.

    However, not all machines will offer these services, so it is always best to check with the individual machine before using it.

    What Locations Have Bitcoin ATMs?

    Worldwide, the total number of Bitcoin ATMs is about 40,000.

    The USA has the most significant number of these machines, with over 33,000 installed. Canada has about 2,600 while Europe has less than 1,500.

    Most of these machines can be found in high-traffic areas such as airports, malls, and urban environments across all countries.

    There are live maps available such as Coin ATM Radar which allow you to search for Bitcoin ATM locations by proximity or other parameters such as operator fees etcetera.

    Are There Risks Associated with Using a Bitcoin ATM?

    There are some risks associated with using a Bitcoin ATM. These include the possibility of scams or thefts, as well as potential issues with the software or hardware.

    However, as Bitcoin ATMs store relatively small amounts of cash, they may not be as tempting targets for theft as larger amounts would be. Keep in mind that it’s important to ensure you research any machine before using it to ensure its reputation and safety.

    Overall, Bitcoin ATMs are safe to use and provide an efficient way for users to exchange cash for cryptocurrency or vice versa.

    By taking proper precautions such as researching reviews and knowing where your ATM is located, users can minimize their risk of encountering problems when using these machines.

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    Lorien is the Country Manager for Financer US and has a strong background in finance and digital marketing. She is a fintech enthusiast and a lover of all things digital.

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