Step-By-Step Guide For Using A Bitcoin ATM

Apr. 10, 2023
Step-By-Step Guide For Using A Bitcoin ATM

Most ways to buy Bitcoin online will associate your personal information with the transaction, starting with exchanges that adhere to KYC/AML rules and ending with the credit card or bank account information used to make the payment. By utilizing a Bitcoin ATM, you can buy Bitcoin (BTC) anonymously in one of the simplest methods possible. This guide will lead you through the stages of purchasing Bitcoin using cash from a real ATM, outlining what happens before, during, and after the transaction.

Defining a Bitcoin ATM: What is it?

A Bitcoin ATM is a device that exchanges Bitcoin for money. These ATMs mimic conventional ones in appearance, but they are not linked to any bank accounts. Alternatively, they put the client in touch with a Bitcoin exchange. A quick, simple, and one of the most discreet methods to purchase Bitcoin is using a Bitcoin ATM. Some Bitcoin ATMs let you purchase digital currency in cash, even without a bank account.

An Overview Of The Evolution Of Bitcoin ATMs Over Time

In the cryptocurrency world, the Bitcoin ATM was set up in Vancouver, Canada, in October 2013. it was the first ATM. Anybody can exchange their Canadian dollars for Bitcoin using the ATM. Since then, there have been more Bitcoin ATMs than ever.

More than 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs were now available in the world as of March 2022, with North America (4,854), Europe (2,177), and Asia (587) having the largest densities. Nonetheless, according to recent figures, these distinctive and noticeable ATMs have topped 35,000 globally.

HOW Does Bitcoin ATMS Work?

These machines share similarities with conventional ATMs, but instead of dispensing cash, they facilitate the exchange of cryptocurrencies. Here is how they work:

Verification Process: You must prove your identification before visiting a Bitcoin ATM. Often, this verification procedure entails snapping a photo of yourself and scanning your ID or passport. Some devices could require your phone number or email address as an additional verification step.

Select Buy or Sell: After the verification procedure, you will be asked to purchase or sell Bitcoin. You must input cash or a credit/debit card to purchase. To sell Bitcoin, you must transfer it to the ATM’s wallet.

Receipt: After that, the ATM will print a receipt for your transaction. This receipt shows the amount of Bitcoin exchanged or purchased, the price paid, and any associated fees.

Transaction Confirmation: After choosing the type of transaction, the BTM will show you the current price of Bitcoin and the transaction fees. This is done to confirm the details of the transaction before proceeding. You must confirm the transaction and agree to the fees before proceeding.

Bitcoin Exchange: If you purchase Bitcoin, the ATM will deliver the currency to your digital wallet. If you sell Bitcoin, the ATM will deposit the funds into the specified account.

As a result, utilizing cash or credit/debit cards to purchase and sell Bitcoin is made simpler by Bitcoin ATMs. You may choose the transaction type, confirm the transaction details, swap Bitcoin for cash, and print a receipt when they have verified your identification.

What Are The Types Of Bitcoin ATMS?

Bitcoin ATMs often come in two different varieties.

One-way Bitcoin ATMs: Customers may only purchase Bitcoin using fiat money. They are called one-way since they only permit clients to buy Bitcoin—not sell it. The most prevalent sort of Bitcoin ATM is the one-way machine.

Two-way Bitcoin ATMs: Using Two-way Bitcoin ATMs, users can purchase and sell Bitcoin. Moreover, users can further make deposits to buy Bitcoin or to sell it for cash. 

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Bitcoin ATM?

Using a Bitcoin ATM has several benefits:

Convenient and easy to use: Anybody without technical expertise in cryptocurrencies can use Bitcoin ATMs since they are easy to operate.

Instant transactions: Bitcoin ATM transactions go rapidly, and you might get your Bitcoin shortly after completing a transaction.

Anonymity: Most Bitcoin ATMs do not request identification or other private information, which makes them a great choice for people who respect privacy.

Accessibility: The general public can readily utilize Bitcoin ATMs since they are spread throughout various public locations, including convenience stores, petrol stations, and shopping centers.

Security: In general, bitcoin ATMs are secure and safe; many even provide features like two-factor authentication and encrypted communications to safeguard your transactions.

No need for a bank account: Bitcoin ATMs offer the advantage of not requiring a bank account to conduct transactions, which sets them apart from traditional banking systems.

Global acceptance: Bitcoin is a global currency, and Bitcoin ATMs are available in many countries, so buying or selling Bitcoins is easy no matter where you are.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Utilizing A Bitcoin ATM?

The following drawbacks are associated with using a Bitcoin ATM::

High transaction fees: Compared to regular exchanges, the cost of transactions on Bitcoin ATMs might occasionally be greater. The prohibitive expenses associated with running and maintaining Bitcoin ATMs are the reason they are not extensively used.

Security concerns: With Bitcoin ATMs, theft and hacking are possibilities. Your sensitive data’s security can be impacted since not all computers are equally safe.

Limited transaction sizes: The amount of Bitcoin that can be bought or sold in a single transaction at a Bitcoin ATM is usually restricted. It might cause problems for people seeking to consummate massive transactions.

Verification requirements: Some Bitcoin ATMs require clients to provide identification, which might also take some time and discourage some users from using the machines.

Lack of customer support: Bitcoin ATMs may not offer customer service to assist consumers with problems or concerns despite traditional exchanges.

Limited availability: There are still few Bitcoin ATMs available than traditional ATMs. They are often difficult to locate and are usually found in urban settings.

Before using Bitcoin ATMs, users need to be aware of their potential drawbacks, despite their convenience in facilitating the buying and selling of Bitcoin.

Where And How To Find A Bitcoin ATM?

You can purchase or sell bitcoins with cash using specialized devices known as Bitcoin ATMs. This is how to locate a Bitcoin ATM:

Use a Bitcoin ATM map: The locations of Bitcoin ATMs in your area are shown on a map on several websites. The Coin ATM Radar is one of the most popular. On their website, enter your location to get a list of local Bitcoin ATMs.

Use a Bitcoin ATM mobile app: You can look up nearby Bitcoin ATMs using mobile applications. A few of the more well-known ones include CoinATMRadar, Bitcoin ATM Map, and Airbitz.

Check your local convenience store or gas station: Several Bitcoin ATMs can be found in petrol stations or convenience stores. To find out if your neighborhood businesses have one, inquire there.

Attend Bitcoin meetups: Attend local Bitcoin gatherings to network with other Bitcoin fans and learn where the nearest Bitcoin ATMs are.

Go up to the machine after you’ve located one and adhere to the instructions on the screen to buy or sell bitcoins for cash. Be aware that Bitcoin ATM costs are often greater than those of conventional exchanges.

How To Use A Bitcoin ATM?

Below are the primary steps that you would need to follow to use a Bitcoin ATM:

Find a Bitcoin ATM: An online directory such as Coin ATM Radar or Google Maps can be used to find the nearest Bitcoin ATM to your current location.

Verify your identity: Some Bitcoin ATMs may require you to verify your identity before usage. This could involve providing personal information such as your name, phone number, and a government-issued ID.

Select your language: Choose the language that seems most natural to you from the many languages supported by Bitcoin ATMs.

Choose to buy or sell: The functionality of buying or selling Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies may vary depending on the specific Bitcoin ATM you are using.

Enter the amount: You must specify the type of coin you want to purchase or sell. The exchange rate and the amount you will get are shown at the ATM.

Scan your wallet QR code: The QR code of your digital wallet must normally be scanned with your phone or a paper wallet to buy Bitcoin.

Insert cash: You should insert cash into the ATM to purchase Bitcoin. The required amount will be shown on the screen.

Wait for confirmation: The Bitcoin ATM will validate the transaction and deliver the acquired Bitcoin to your wallet when you have scanned the QR code of your online wallet. The ATM will offer you cash when you sell Bitcoin.

Take your receipt: Your transaction will generate an ATM receipt. Save this as proof of your transaction.


It’s important to note that because Bitcoin ATM user interfaces might vary, the exact processes can sometimes not remain the same.

WHAT Charges Apply To Using A Bitcoin ATM?

The individual machine and its operator will determine the costs of utilizing a Bitcoin ATM. The use charges for utilizing Bitcoin ATMs typically vary from 4% to 15% of the transaction value to cover the costs of running and maintaining the ATM and the processing fees imposed by the Bitcoin network. Few Bitcoin ATMs may charge a fixed fee for using the machine or specialized services, such as buying or selling Bitcoin. Make sure you are aware of the fees before using a Bitcoin ATM.

Although they are available, Bitcoin ATMs can cost more to use than a conventional exchange. You should evaluate the costs and exchange rates provided by various Bitcoin ATMs as well as other choices, including online exchanges or peer-to-peer platforms, if you want to buy or sell cryptocurrency.

Concluding Remarks

As digital assets become more popular, the frequency of Bitcoin ATMs is expected to rise. Users don’t need a bank account or to go through a laborious registration procedure to swiftly and conveniently buy or sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash using these machines.

While Bitcoin ATMs might be useful, consumers should be aware of the costs and conversion rates connected with them, as they can differ significantly amongst service providers. Users should also take the proper security precautions, such as utilizing a secure wallet and verifying the reliability and trustworthiness of their ATM.

A distinctive and practical approach for people to engage in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is through Bitcoin ATMs. As the acceptance of digital assets grows, more innovation in this industry is likely, including creating new types of ATMs and their growing engagement in the manufacturing of cryptocurrencies.

Ammar Raza

Associate editor
Skilled in crafting compelling content, with a deep enthusiasm for blockchain technology. I offer precise and easily comprehensible perspectives on cryptocurrencies, decentralized finance, and the ever-evolving landscape. Count on me as a reliable resource to remain informed about the latest advancements in the world of crypto.