Crypto on the Go: What Is a Bitcoin ATM?


Just a decade ago, if anyone had spoken about the future and cryptocurrencies, no one would have believed them. We know the idea was intriguing, but now, we’re further down the road than anyone could have imagined.

Today, you can find bitcoin ATMs in nearly every major city worldwide. But what is a Bitcoin ATM? For one, it comes with all the conveniences of a typical ATM, except everything is crypto.

Nonetheless, what used to take hours of research and phone calls can now happen in a few short minutes at a Bitcoin ATM.

This is great news for savvy investors who want easy access to their digital currency. If you’re one of them or want to be like them, keep reading to learn about Bitcoin ATMs and more.

What Is a Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM is a machine that allows you to buy Bitcoin without needing a bank account or credit card. All you need is cash, and you can purchase Bitcoin instantly. Bitcoin ATMs are a great way to get started with cryptocurrency if you don’t have a bank account or credit card.

How To Use a Bitcoin ATM

To use a Bitcoin ATM, you need a valid Bitcoin mobile wallet address, where your Bitcoin goes. Most Bitcoin ATMs will also require you to provide some form of ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. 

As long as your requirements are complete, you will be able to buy as well as sell Bitcoin through the Bitcoin ATM.

Buying Bitcoin

With your information complete, you’ll be able to make a Bitcoin ATM deposit. Just insert cash into the ATM and buy Bitcoin. Luckily, the process is quick and easy.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to buying Bitcoin through a Bitcoin ATM:

  1. Set up an account with your chosen ATM provider. This will require you to establish your identity before you can be eligible to make transactions. 
  2. Prepare your crypto wallet, which records all of your Bitcoin transactions. You can usually do this quickly with an app you can download to your smartphone. 
  3. Look for a Bitcoin ATM near you. 
  4. Key your Bitcoin wallet details into the machine. This is the address that you will be using for your Bitcoin transactions.
  5. Insert your money.     
  6. Get your receipt. This will confirm that your Bitcoin purchase has been successful. 

Selling Bitcoin

Some Bitcoin ATMs also allow you to sell Bitcoin. To do this, you’ll need to provide the ATM with your Bitcoin wallet address. The ATM will then send you cash in exchange for your Bitcoin.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to selling Bitcoin through a Bitcoin ATM:

  1. If you have more than one Bitcoin wallet, first decide which one you want to use when selling your Bitcoin.
  2. If you haven’t set up a Bitcoin account, you must create one and log into it through the Bitcoin ATM when you’re ready to sell.
  3. If you don’t already have an account with a Bitcoin ATM operator, you will need to create one.
  4. Using the ATM, log into your account, and enter how much Bitcoin you’re selling and from which specific wallet address (if you have many). 
  5. Note that you will need to wait for a notification indicating that the Bitcoin network, or blockchain, has verified your transaction. Once you receive that notification, you can then withdraw your cash. The process can take varying amounts of time, depending on the operator. 
  6. One thing you need to remember is that you can expect different qualities of customer service from different operators. Hence, make it a point to research different Bitcoin ATM operators before deciding which one to go with.

Sending Cash Through a Bitcoin ATM 

You probably know that you can send Bitcoin to another Bitcoin user through a Bitcoin ATM, but did you know that you can also send them cash without having to sell any cryptocurrency?

First, get an account with a Bitcoin ATM operator. Then log in to your account, enter how much you want to send, and the Bitcoin wallet address of the receiver.

Insert your money into the machine and wait for a notification that the recipient’s Bitcoin wallet has, indeed, received the Bitcoin. In this transaction, the recipient will be able to withdraw the money as cash. 

Withdrawing Bitcoin

If you can make a Bitcoin ATM deposit, you can most certainly make a Bitcoin ATM withdrawal as well. View here to learn more. 

Benefits of Using a Bitcoin ATM

If you thought cryptocurrency couldn’t get more convenient, think again. There are solid benefits to using a Bitcoin ATM, including: 

Quick and Easy 

Like traditional ATMs, Bitcoin ATMs allow you to complete your transactions within minutes. This is a far cry from usual Bitcoin transactions that would take days. 


Bitcoin ATMs come with a very simple, step-by-step process that you can follow. Some Bitcoin ATMs don’t even require you to set up an account with them or deal with lengthy public keys. 

In most cases, you will only need a QR code, which you can find on your receipt. It will have all the public and private keys that you need. Simply scan the code, and it will be automatically recognized. 

Account Security  

This part has a lot to do with the Bitcoin ATM operator, but as long as you research and choose a reputable company, you should have no security issues when transacting with Bitcoin ATMs. 

Again, the secret is to keep to operators known for secure systems. This is something that requires a bit of research, which should come easy for you online. 

Flexible Options

Different providers offer different options, but again, with some research, you should be able to find those companies that provide flexible transactions.

For example, some operators will allow you to choose between keeping your Bitcoin offline on a hard wallet or online with an online wallet. It’s up to you! 

Convenient Locations

Most reputable Bitcoin ATM operators will have locations worldwide, so this should be another easy thing for you. It always boils down to research. If you spend time looking for information, you will find and benefit from it. 

Tips for Using a Bitcoin ATM 

There are a few tips to remember to ensure a smooth experience with any Bitcoin ATM. While each operator will probably have their own rules, the following are the common guidelines.

Make sure you have a Bitcoin wallet set up before you go to the ATM, as you will need to provide a receiving address for your Bitcoin. Most Bitcoin ATMs will require you to provide some form of ID, so be sure to have your driver’s license or passport ready.  

In addition, some Bitcoin ATMs have limits on how much Bitcoin you can buy, so it’s a good idea to check this before you go to the ATM.  

Lastly, you may have to pay Bitcoin ATM transaction fees when you use certain machines, and the price is usually higher than those associated with a traditional exchange. 

The Risks of Using a Bitcoin ATM

Like most other financial elements in the world, a Bitcoin ATM comes with its share of risks that users must be aware of.

Not All Are Legit

First off, not all Bitcoin ATMs are what they say they are. Some belong to hackers, so that’s one thing you need to keep in mind. Before you use a Bitcoin ATM, make sure it’s from a reputable company like Coinoutlet, Genesis Coin, or BitAccess.

Hackable Bitcoin ATMs 

Second, Bitcoin ATMs can be hacked, and that could lead to the loss of your Bitcoin. It doesn’t matter how much you’ve saved in your account. If you end up with a scammer, they’ll wipe your entire balance out for sure. To avoid that, be extra careful in choosing the Bitcoin ATMs you use. 

Unregulated Industry

Last, keep in mind that Bitcoin ATMs are not yet regulated by any government or financial institution. That means providers use all the freedom they have in setting their policies.

For example, as we mentioned, Bitcoin ATM transaction fees are usually more expensive than usual ATM costs. These fees can vary wildly among Bitcoin providers themselves because they are unregulated. That means they will charge whatever they feel is a fair amount for their services.  

Bitcoins Into the Future!

Now that we’re settled on the question of what is a Bitcoin ATM, you should waste no time enjoying the advantages of this technology as we all move into the future. If you intend to use a Bitcoin ATM, find one that is located in a safe and secure location. 

Not sure if you have one in your area? We mentioned earlier an app that Bitcoin ATM operators have. Use it to find a Bitcoin ATM close by. If you don’t have access to any apps, just Google it away!  

We have more interesting reads for you on our blog. Keep exploring!

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