What Is a Bitcoin ATM? What You Should Know

Kreg Bale
Kreg Bale March 7, 2022
Updated 2022/03/07 at 3:32 PM
What Is a Bitcoin ATM? What You Should Know

It’s 2022, and half the world is looking to join the crypto revolution. If you’re in this group, using a Bitcoin ATM would be a good place to start.

How does a Bitcoin ATM work? Here’s a clue: despite its name and physical similarities, this machine isn’t an ATM. It’s not connected to your bank account and doesn’t allow you to withdraw or transfer funds.

What is a Bitcoin ATM, then? We answer that question below, along with everything else you need to know about this machine.

What Is a Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM is a standalone internet-connected kiosk. It allows you to buy cryptocurrency by depositing cash into the machine.

Unlike traditional ATMs, Bitcoin ATMs only allow cash deposits to buy crypto. Some newer machines allow you to exchange crypto for fiat currency. A transaction at a Bitcoin ATM can take ten minutes to an hour.

At the moment, there are over 35,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the world. Most of them are in North America, usually in places like cafes, gas stations, and so on. The easiest way to find one is to google “Bitcoin ATM near me.”

How Does a Bitcoin ATM Work?

Though transactions can take a while, using a Bitcoin ATM is quite simple.

First, the machine will ask you for your phone number. It will then use that number to identify you and process your transaction. You should receive a verification code that you’ll need to enter to proceed.

The next step is to enter the address of your blockchain wallet. Most digital wallets will let you do this via a QR code. It’s best to use a wallet specifically for the currency you intend to buy.

Finally, you’ll need to insert your cash into the machine. Some networks, such as https://www.bytefederal.com/, also accept card purchases. Once the transaction is complete, you’ll see the currency deposited in your wallet.

Bitcoin ATM Fees

Every time you buy Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM, the machine will charge a fee. That fee is always based on a percentage of the transaction value.

In general, these fees can be quite high. Most Bitcoin ATMs charge between 9% and 12% per transaction. That said, you can find fees as high as 20% or as low as 4%, so it’s worth doing some research.

Pros and Cons of Bitcoin ATMs

A Bitcoin ATM is the fastest option for buying Bitcoin. The alternative is to deposit money in a bank, transfer it to an exchange, then buy Bitcoin.

Using a Bitcoin ATM also means you don’t need to go through traditional financial institutions to buy crypto. Bitcoin ATMs offer more privacy than a centralized exchange and don’t require a bank account.

Other than high fees, the main downside of Bitcoin ATMs is that they have set transaction limits. If you don’t live in the U.S., you may also not be able to find a Bitcoin ATM close to you.

Bitcoin ATMs Are Worth Your Time!

So, what is a Bitcoin ATM? Simply put, it’s the best way to turn cold hard cash into Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. These machines are easy to use, provide privacy and security, and are available to anyone.

Want to know more about how to buy or trade crypto? Keep reading our Cryptocurrency section!


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