A Bitcoin ATM is very similar to a traditional ATM that distributes fiat currencies that you can withdraw in USD, EUR, INR, or any currency, with your debit card.
However, unlike traditional fiat ATMs, some Bitcoin ATMs only allow you to withdraw bitcoin. Some will help you convert your bitcoin into fiat currencies, while others will help you with both.
A remarkable aspect of these ATMs is that you can buy/sell bitcoin anonymously. No KYC or AML is required to transact with a Bitcoin ATM. This means that it is a great way to protect your identity and your privacy. However, remember to first learn how Bitcoin works before diving right in.
Types of Bitcoin ATMs
There are three main types of Bitcoin ATMs:
(1) ATMs that convert your Bitcoin into fiat currencies.
(2) ATM where you can buy Bitcoin.
(3) ATMs where you can do both.
There are even ATMs that accept Bitcoin debit cards that you can use to withdraw money. This is especially useful when traveling to a foreign country.
Depending on where you live and the number of Bitcoin ATMs in your area, these machines make it easy to buy and sell BTC, eliminating several steps in the process.
Although the number of businesses accepting Bitcoin is increasing, it can be a bit difficult for people to spend their Bitcoin on a daily basis easily. To use their Bitcoin, people have to hop on an exchange, sell their Bitcoin, withdraw money to a bank account, and only then can they spend it.
With the availability of these ATMs, some of these steps are no longer necessary. Essentially, these act like a physical exchange for Bitcoin.
How to find a Bitcoin ATM near you
You can find a Bitcoin ATM near you by using the Coin ATM Radar service which allows you to search for ATMs around the world using the Bitcoin ATM map.
With this service, you benefit from the following advantages:
Find the Bitcoin ATM map
Find Bitcoin ATMs near you
Get all the details you need about this ATM (fees, limits, buy only, sell only, buy/sell)
Get directions from your location to the selected ATM
To find a Bitcoin ATM, visit the main website with a live map of ATMs.
1. Add your location/city and hit enter to search for ATMs.
2. Select the nearest ATM and click to view details.
3. Click on “Directions” for the location and address on Google Maps.
How to use a Bitcoin ATM
On these machines, the price of Bitcoin depends on the current exchange rate. However, ATMs also charge a fee for their services. On average, a Bitcoin ATM costs between 8% and 10%, which is a bit steep for most people. Although 8-10% is the average, the cost often varies depending on the machine (it can be higher or lower). Be sure to read the ATM’s instructions before use.
When a person withdraws from a Bitcoin ATM, Bitcoin is issued to the user’s Bitcoin wallet through a QR code or paper wallet that some ATMs can generate. In most cases, machines these days also require users to identify themselves for KYC purposes. So make sure you have some form of identification ready.
While the process is different for ATMs, there is a general flow of using an ATM to buy Bitcoin:
First, choose the option to buy Bitcoin (only applies to those who offer buying and selling services). Then scan the QR code of your wallet address with the Bitcoin ATM. Enter the amount you want to buy, then enter the money.
Give the computer a few minutes to process the transaction. When you’re done, check your Bitcoin wallet to confirm the sale and you’re done! So easy.
Selling Bitcoin through an ATM, on the other hand, tends to happen on a case-by-case basis. It depends on the computer and system used.
If there is a particular brand of ATM near you, the first thing you should do is do your research before you sell it. Fortunately, these machines are very intuitive; just follow the instructions on the screens and you will be fine.
Using a Bitcoin ATM is an easy option as long as you have a Bitcoin ATM near you. Also, note that some ATMs will ask you to scan your ID documents and may even need to ask for your phone number for KYC purposes. However, this usually happens when you buy a large number of bitcoins.
And as mentioned above, the total number of ATMs in the world is very small and some of them can only be used to buy Bitcoins or sell Bitcoin because two-way Bitcoin ATMs are even rarer.
To counter these restrictions, there are some special types of Bitcoin ATMs that allow you to sell your Bitcoins in a remote location and withdraw money from a nearby ATM after the transaction is complete.
Some Bitcoin ATMs also accept Bitcoin debit cards, so you can also withdraw cash in case you need it while traveling in a foreign country. This feature eliminates the headache of changing money when traveling abroad.