While we are all accustomed to usual ATMs that can be found practically on every corner in every city, Bitcoin ATMs are still a novelty since cryptocurrencies are still far from mass adoption in their current state. However, for those who are keen on using Bitcoin just like usual dollars or euros in their daily lives, we’ve got good news: cryptocurrency ATMs already exist and their number across different cities is rapidly increasing.
What is a Bitcoin ATM
A Bitcoin ATM is a machine that can be used for purchasing Bitcoin and sometimes a few other major cryptocurrencies using cash. It’s very similar to usual ATMs with the only difference that you insert cash and get bitcoins to your cryptocurrency wallet.
Typically, such ATMs are located not far from shops and cafes that are keen on implementing cryptocurrency payments into their business models. But since the Bitcoin popularity keeps on growing, such Bitcoin ATMs can be found in other areas as well. Some of these ATMs work only in one direction meaning that you can only purchase bitcoin with cash with their help. Two-ways ATMs exist as well and allow you not only to buy but also to sell cryptocurrencies.
The best thing about Bitcoin ATMs is that they significantly simplify the BTC buying process and serve as a bridge between the traditional financial world and the new world of digital payments allowing you to stay incognito at the same time. Some of them may require to provide your phone number, your scans of your documents, but only if you purchase cry[tos for a really huge sum.
However, there’s always a flip side of the coin and convenience has its price. The rate at which Bitcoin ATMs sell cryptocurrencies is typically worse than the market average and they also charge their own fees on top.
Bitcoin ATM producers
There are many Bitcoin ATM producers worldwide, but the major part of the market share belongs to only two of them, Genesis Coin and General Bytes.
Genesis Coin offers 2 types of ATMs:
- Genesis 1 (2-way, $14,500)
- Satoshi 1 (1 or 2-way, $6,800)
General Bytes is a Czech enterprise that specializes on Android devices. It has a broader choice of ATM packages and also sells a cryptocurrency point-of-sales solution and neon signs stating that your shop accepts bitcoins.
How to buy Bitcoin via ATM
The process differs in details for General Bytes and Genesis Coin ATMs, but the overall logic is the same.
- Select the language and press “Start” button.
- If the given ATM support multiple cryptocurrencies (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or other altcoins) select the one you want to purchase.
- Choose how much you want to buy.
- Enter your mobile number and then the verification code you receive.
- Specify your cryptocurrency wallet or create the new one to receive the funds.
- Put the cash into the dispenser.
- Finish the transaction by pressing the “Send” button.
- Get a receipt and receive cryptos to your wallet.
- The process of selling bitcoins via ATM is no more difficult. The only difference is that you will need to scan the QR address via mobile wallet to send your bitcoins.
How can I find cryptocurrency ATMs in my region?
There is a very useful service designed specifically for this purpose, CoinATMradar. With its help, you can find Bitcoin ATMs in your region. According to the map, most of them are located in the US (in spite of SEC strict regulations) and in Europe, but there are also such machines in other parts of the world which is a very encouraging piece of news.
You can find a Bitcoin ATM in your city by typing your address in the search field or by simply clicking on the location and gradually approximating the scale. There are a few things that you should pay attention to:
- ATM fees: They charge 5-10% for the purchase on the average, but there are exclusions and the fees may be higher.
- Bitcoin price: The rates change in the real-time and with ATMs, they are usually 7% higher than the CoinMarketCap average. Together with the ATM fees, the ultimate price may be discouraging, as we’ve already stated above.
- The transaction limits: Different crypto ATMs have different limits per transaction and per day.
Once you have selected a cryptocurrency machine, click on the “get directions” button and see how you can find it on the Google maps.
Another service that has been created specifically for Australian citizens is called Find Bitcoin ATM. Australia is one of the first regions that has created conditions for cryptocurrency legalization and there are numerous bitcoin machines across its major cities such as Perth, Melbourne and, of course, Sydney. The problem with both of these services is that none of them displays the fees that the machines impose or the transaction limits, so you will have to find it out only when you get there.
The number of Bitcoin ATMs is constantly growing. Since the first machine was launched in Vancouver in 2013, several thousand more have been opened worldwide. Of course, these ATMs are placed only in the regions where cryptos have not been officially banned since there is still a cryptocurrency legalization question that must be resolved. But the tendency is obvious and we may still live to see Bitcoin selling machines on every corner.