Bitcoin ATMs: How do I use Bitcoin ATM first time?

This beginner's guide will teach you the fundamentals of Bitcoin ATMs. Learn how to use a Bitcoin ATM, as well as the costs and where to find one.

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A Bitcoin ATM (Automated Teller Machine) or BTM (Bitcoin Teller Machine) is a popular way to acquire or cash out Bitcoin without going via a traditional bank (BTC). They've gained in popularity over time as the value of cryptocurrencies has climbed, as has people's trust in them.

Other ATMs that let consumers purchase and sell cryptocurrencies like Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), and Litecoin (LTC), among others.

Continue reading if you haven't used one before or want to learn more about it. We'll go over a few intriguing points about Bitcoin ATMs in this article. We'll also give you useful information, such as the most common requirements and actions to follow when buying or selling Bitcoin.

We'll also address issues like how can I put money into a Bitcoin ATM. What is the cost of using a Bitcoin ATM?

What is a Bitcoin ATM, or BTM?

In that it is a physical kiosk, an ATM or BTM is similar to a standard automated teller machine. It differs from traditional ATMs in that it allows users to purchase Bitcoin in exchange for cash or debit. Users can also sell Bitcoin for cash at some BTMs.

BTMs resemble traditional ATMs in appearance. They do, however, connect to a Bitcoin wallet rather than a bank account. The Bitcoin wallet acts as a repository for coins that are transmitted or debited in place of a bank card. Some Bitcoin ATMs resemble standard ATMs because they are, in fact, traditional ATMs with Bitcoin-specific software.

A brief history of Bitcoin ATMs

On October 29, 2013, the first bitcoin ATM opened its doors. It was a Robocoin machine in Vancouver, Canada's Waves Coffee Shop. It only ran until 2015 owing to Bitstamp's operational issues, yet it is commonly regarded as the world's first Bitcoin ATM. Following that, a Bitcoin ATM was opened in Europe. The installation took place on December 8, 2013 in Bratislava, Slovakia.

Meanwhile, on February 18, 2014, the first Bitcoin ATM in the United States was installed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was, however, only operational for a month before being shut down.

Bitcoin ATMs, like the cryptocurrency itself, have faced numerous regulatory obstacles since then. Finally, agreement was achieved that Bitcoin ATMs would be subject to the same laws and regulations as ordinary ATMs.

This includes restrictions on the number of deposits and withdrawals a person can make per transaction and per day. In the United States, for example, all Bitcoin ATM operators must register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and adhere to the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA).

Depending on the transaction amount, the Bitcoin ATM may require your cell phone number to give you a text verification code. You may be needed to scan a government-issued piece of identification, such as a driver's license, before completing a transaction.

Furthermore, many Bitcoin ATMs no longer provide the anonymity that they formerly provided, much to the chagrin of many crypto aficionados. This is due to existing restrictions requiring customers to authenticate their identities before dealing, particularly for significant amounts.

There are around 28,000 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide, the most majority of which are located in the United States. North America, with about 90% of the global market, has the most Bitcoin ATMs. Genesis Coin (41.5 percent market share) and General Bytes are the two largest manufacturers of Bitcoin ATMs nowadays.

The majority of BTMs can be found in cafes or speciality stores, as well as transportation centers such as train stations and airports. In most cases, company owners who want a BTM installed in their commercial space must first sign a contract with a Bitcoin ATM operator. The device will then be installed on-site by the provider.

Unlike online cryptocurrency exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs make it easy to purchase and sell bitcoin. Users of Bitcoin ATMs must typically have an existing account in order to use the machine.

There are two types of Bitcoin ATMs, sometimes known as BTMs:

  • Unidirectional Machines: These are one-way transaction machines that can buy or sell cryptocurrencies.
  • Bi-directional Machines: These are two-way machines that allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in the same transaction.

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To power the exchange of cryptocurrencies for cash, BTMs must be connected to the internet. While most BTMs use a public key on the blockchain to transmit money, others still use paper receipts. Verification is frequently required at Bitcoin ATMs, especially when transacting big sums.

Bitcoin transactions are blockchain-based, as opposed to regular ATMs that allow for actual deposits and withdrawals of cash. They employ a QR code to deliver cryptocurrency to a user's Bitcoin wallet. Large financial institutions do not operate them because they are not linked to a bank account. However, as previously stated, they are subject to the same rules and regulations.

Users will be requested to scan a QR code that matches to their Bitcoin wallet address in the majority of circumstances. They can then transfer the coins they've purchased to their wallet. A record of the transaction will appear in the user's digital wallet after a few minutes of processing.

There are lower and upper limits to the amount of cash that can be placed with a BTM. In the United States, all Bitcoin businesses must register with FinCEN. They are also bound by the anti-money laundering provisions of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). The Bitcoin ATM may require your cell phone number to send you a text verification code, depending on the transaction amount. Before completing the form, you may be requested to scan a government-issued ID, such as a driver's license.

How to use a Bitcoin ATM

The processes for exchanging your fiat currency for Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM are outlined here. Here's how to buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM in a nutshell:

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Step 1: Insert your phone number

Identity verification is required at Bitcoin ATMs. Before completing a transaction, you will normally be asked for your phone number in order to receive a verification code.

While Bitcoin ATMs used to be all about privacy, they now have to comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) laws.

All BTMs must have some form of identity verification, such as scanning a government-issued ID or providing a phone number, according to the law.

Step 2: Verify your identity

You must now verify your identity after giving your phone number. You can do this by waiting for the BTM to send a verification code to your phone number via text message. Then you must enter the code exactly into the machine you're using.

"Your code is 7654321," a popup will appear after that. "Thank you," or anything similar. This step was added by BTM manufacturers to prevent people from entering bogus phone numbers into the machines.

Step 3: Scan your wallet QR code

If you use a Bitcoin ATM, you almost certainly already have a Bitcoin address. This is where the BTC will be delivered.

You'll need a Bitcoin address before you can use a Bitcoin ATM. This is where the BTC will be sent from the machine. There are a few ways to get a Bitcoin public address if you don't already have one:

  • Making use of a paper wallet
  • Making use of a program
  • Using an exchange's address

Having said that, it's your QR code that matters. This is your Bitcoin address, and you'll need to scan it in order for the Bitcoin ATM to know where it should transfer your BTC. Multiple wallets are supported by BTC ATMs. If you're unsure, it's advisable to contact your wallet provider.

Step 4: Insert your fiat currency

Now all you have to do is enter the amount of money you wish to trade for Bitcoin. You simply place your money in the machine's specific receptacle, much like a traditional ATM that accepts cash deposits.

After that, the system will tell you how much it is worth in Bitcoin. If you put $400 in, for example, you'll get a prompt that looks like this: 0.0095 BTC = $400 USD

Step 5: Confirm the amount and complete your transaction

All you have to do now is press "BUY" or "CONFIRM" once you've double-checked that you inserted the correct amount of money and are satisfied with the transaction. The Bitcoin you just bought will be sent to the Bitcoin address you validated with your QR code earlier.

It's worth noting that processing transactions at a Bitcoin ATM might take anything from ten minutes to an hour. It normally takes six network confirmations to do this, so don't be concerned if the cash does not appear in your digital wallet right away.

Selling Bitcoin using ATMs

You can either purchase Bitcoin, sell it, or do both depending on the machine. The instructions differ from machine to machine. In most circumstances, though, purchasing or selling bitcoin is similar to withdrawing money using a bank card.

When you want to cash out or sell Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM, follow these general instructions:

  • Choose your preferred option. Click "Sell BTC" if you wish to cash out.
  • Scan the QR code on your wallet. You can scan it with your mobile app, print it, or manually type in the address.
  • Please confirm your identity. Although it varies by country, most BTMs require users to input a phone number, scan a valid ID, or snap a photograph. Fingerprints are even accepted by some machines. For transactions involving high sums of BTC, verification is required.
  • Send the bitcoin to the address supplied. Scanning a QR code is usually the easiest way to do this. Some machines will immediately give you cash, while others will require you to wait for the recipient to authenticate the transaction.
  • Confirm the transaction on your end, and then wait for the machine to finish it.Remember to keep your receipt.

The steps for using BTMs to sell Bitcoin are far more varied, but these are the most common ones you'll encounter. However, they are usually simple to use and intuitive, so just follow the on-screen directions and make sure you enter the correct information.

Pros of using a Bitcoin teller machine

  • The following are some of the benefits of employing a Bitcoin teller machine:
  • It's a simple and quick way to buy and trade Bitcoin.
  • To transact, no actual cards or bank cards are required.
  • Some ATMs (in countries where KYC is not required) do not require identification verification, allowing you to remain anonymous.
  • Individuals who do not have or choose not to have bank accounts can use Bitcoin.
  • Makes it possible to buy Bitcoin in places where there are few options for doing so.
  • Because there are so many BTMs around the world, it's a convenient way to transact Bitcoin.

Cons of using a Bitcoin teller machine

There are several downsides to using Bitcoin Teller Machines as well. Here are a few examples:

  • Transaction fees are extremely expensive. The costs for buying or selling Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM typically range from 7% to 12%.
  • Because most Bitcoin Teller Machines have withdrawal and deposit limits (varying from $1000 to $10,000), it may not be ideal for large transactions.
  • Because most places require identification verification, your transaction will not be fully anonymous.

Where to find a BTM — Bitcoin ATM locations

As previously stated, there are around 28,000 BTMs in the world, the majority of them are located in North America. Here's a map of where Bitcoin ATMs can be found around the world:

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According to Statista, the majority of BTMs are located in North America and Europe, with the rest scattered across other continents.

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You can use Coin ATM Radar to run a local search to identify the exact location of a Bitcoin Teller Machine near you. To discover the nearest BTM, simply type in your address or city name.

Here's how to use Coin ATM Radar to find a Bitcoin Teller Machine:

  • Go to the Coin ATM Radar page. A Bitcoin ATM map with locations all over the world may be seen here.
  • Type your city or address in the upper left-hand corner of the map and hit "enter."
  • You can also use the following filters to narrow down your results:

  • The type of cryptocurrency you want to use to make a transaction with (BTC, ETH, DASH, LTC, etc.)
  • What kind of transaction do you wish to make? (Buy or Sell)
  • What kind of machine do you require? (ATM, Teller, or other)

  • To learn more about a Bitcoin Teller Machine near you, simply click on the location. You can find information on the following topics:

    • The name of the structure or site
    • Hours of operation
    • Cryptocurrencies that are supported
    • Transactions that are supported
    • Manufacturer and kind of ATM

  • You may also use Google Maps to get exact instructions from your position to the Bitcoin Teller machine by clicking "View Details" or "Get Directions."

Important facts about Bitcoin ATMs

Despite the fact that Bitcoin Teller Machines have been around for a while, they are still a novel concept that elicits both curiosity and distrust.

Here are some key (and fascinating) facts regarding this piece of equipment:

Speed of adoption of BTMs

The technology behind Bitcoin ATMs is still relatively young. As such, it is still continually improving alongside changes in security measures and regulations to abide by. 

However, BTMs have come a long way since the first Robocoin machine was installed at a Vancouver coffee shop in 2013. Today, it has grown exponentially in numbers, which goes to show that the general public is also very quickly adopting Bitcoin.

In 2020 alone, Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. saw a massive uptick (177%) in installations, perhaps due to the increased demand for cashless payment methods. Coin ATM Radar’s data on Bitcoin ATM installations show a huge upwards trend, with numbers approaching 30,000 in 2021.

Given where we are now in terms of widespread public acceptance of cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin ATMs, it appears that this trend will continue in the future years.

Bitcoin ATM fees

So, how much does using a Bitcoin ATM cost? Despite their growing popularity, Bitcoin ATM fees are still fairly high, as we mentioned. The typical Bitcoin ATM fee is from 10% to 15%. They can, however, be as low as 7% or as high as 25% of the total.

If you buy $800 worth of Bitcoin and pay a $10 average buy charge, you will receive $720 worth of bitcoin and pay a $80 cost. That's a huge point.

Let's imagine you're selling $1,000 worth of bitcoin for a 7% sell charge. This means you'll only get $930 in fiat currency and will have to pay a charge of $70 to complete the transaction. Again, this is a substantial sum of money.

The best way to avoid this is to do some research before visiting a machine near you. That way, you can figure out which machines offer the lowest fees ahead of time.

Bitcoin ATMs accept a variety of altcoins.

Despite the fact that they are dubbed Bitcoin ATMs, the majority of these machines can also process transactions involving other cryptocurrencies. This means that, in addition to Bitcoin, you can use them to purchase and trade other cryptocurrencies.

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The following graph depicts the ratio of cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin ATMs that accept them:

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The restricted number of other cryptocurrencies supported by these machines is due to the fact that Bitcoin ATM technology is still very new. There are presently 1600 different types of altcoins, thus big BTM makers may have a long way to go before all of them are supported.

However, given the quick growth and adoption of BTM technology, there's a significant chance that additional cryptocurrencies will be supported by BTM manufacturers around the world.

Conclusion: The future of Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin has continued to increase in value since its inception in 2013. Back then, one Bitcoin was worth around $200. Years later, its worth has risen to thousands of dollars despite price fluctuations. 

Alongside its massive growth in value, the number of Bitcoin ATMs also increased exponentially. This highlights the continuing patronage of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

As the world continues to shift to digital solutions by and large, including financial transactions, Bitcoin and other crypto are also expected to become even more popular.

Bitcoin has been an autonomous online currency, free of the control of regulatory agencies and huge financial institutions, since Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first Bitcoin.

This is also why many world leaders, financial elites, and economists have expressed their reservations about it. Thankfully, the Bitcoin blockchain has never been hacked since its inception, according to Nakamoto's "near-perfect programming."

Despite this, the Bitcoin blockchain is not guaranteed to be impregnable indefinitely. Nonetheless, investors and fans are confident in the cryptocurrency's continued security and profitability based on its past record.

As a result, it is widely believed that the quantity and popularity of Bitcoin ATMs will continue to rise in the next years. They are popular because they are easy to use, convenient, and unique. Bitcoin ATM fees are still one of the technology's key problems, but they can't be avoided for the time being because they give a lot of consumers a safe and convenient option to buy crypto.

If you're thinking about buying or selling Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM, do some research online first to see which Bitcoin ATMs have the lowest costs. Also, make sure you're always entering the correct information (such as your digital wallet's details), as there's sometimes no way to erase transactions caused by mistakes.

We hope that this essay taught you the fundamentals of Bitcoin Teller Machines. As usual, visit our homepage for the most up-to-date rates, news, and updates on major cryptocurrencies.

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