A Bitcoin ATM allows users to buy and sell bitcoins for cash. Sounds very tempting, doesn’t it? This is Alex, bitcoin guru and blockchain researcher. Let’s find out how a Bitcoin ATM is similar to a regular ATM, what the sequence of the procedure is, and whether the fees for buying bitcoin are high.
What is a Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATM acts like a physical bitcoin exchange where you can buy and sell BTC for cash. However, unlike traditional fiat ATMs, some bitcoin ATMs only allow you to buy or sell bitcoins. Some help converts bitcoins and some cryptocurrencies into paper money. And some perform both functions.
The world’s first Bitcoin ATM was opened on October 29, 2013, at the Waves coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The device often consists of a scanner, a cash dispenser, and a computer to manage transactions.
The main feature of Bitcoin ATMs is that the device allows you to buy and sell bitcoins anonymously. Usually, no KYC or AML is required to make transactions through a Bitcoin ATM, and this is a perfect way to protect your identity and keep your privacy.
However, some countries put forward a list of requirements, still including KYC, as Bitcoin ATM falls under the definition of payment systems, they must comply with the laws.
Bitcoin Purchase Procedure
Bitcoins are issued either to the buyer’s bitcoin wallet (via a scanned QR code on a mobile device or a paper wallet) or to the paper wallet itself, generated and printed by the ATM at the time of purchase.
The exact instructions on how to use a bitcoin ATM depend on the model installed. Currently, there are about 30 different types of crypto ATMs. The most popular types, which cover almost 90% worldwide:
- Genesis1 machine by Genesis Coin
- Satoshi1 or Satoshi2 machine from Genesis Coin
- General Bytes BATMTwo
- General Bytes BATMThree
Buy Bitcoins Through a Bitcoin ATM
The process of buying bitcoins is much more varied and depends on the specific BTM. However, these machines are quite intuitive to use, so follow the instructions on the screen. Yet, all ATMs have a standard purchasing process:
- verification step (optional, can vary significantly depending on the type of ATM);
- obtaining a bitcoin address to make a deposit (can be generated and printed/sent via email, but it’s best to have it with you before using the device);
- depositing cash at the ATM;
- confirming the transaction (bitcoin sent to your address).
Bitcoin ATM fees
The purchase price depends on the current exchange rate, which the ATM receives from the Internet in real-time. Also, the ATM charges an additional fee for the service and takes its cost into account. Typically, fees vary in the range of 5%.
However, this is an approximate average, and fees vary between ATMs. The company will try to manage its fiat money and bitcoins by balancing its inputs and outputs through exchange trading: too much bitcoin without hedging can lead to disastrous results.
How to Find a Bitcoin ATM Near Me
To find the nearest bitcoin ATM near you, you can use Coin ATM Radar. It shows points with ATMs on the current world map with crypto ATMs. With the service, you will be able to:
- explore a map of Bitcoin ATMs;
- locate the nearest crypto ATMs;
- get all necessary data about this ATM (fees, limits, buy only, sell only, buy/sell);
- plot a route from your location to the selected ATM.
Bitcoin ATMs are a very convenient way to buy and even sell bitcoins very quickly for cash. Although most ATMs work more or less the same way, it is always advisable to clearly follow the instructions on the screen to not miss anything.
If you are interested in the topic of cryptocurrencies and bitcoin in particular, especially in QuadrigaCX cryptocurrency exchange or in Bitbay cryptocurrency exchange, then our articles on the world of blockchain, published every week, will be very useful for you.
I have been studying cryptocurrency for over 5 years. I have accounts in every exchange and I test everything on myself.
I want this market to be more understandable for everyone.