As bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rose in favor, people started looking for new ways to access their wallets and convert their funds. Enter bitcoin ATMs, which have been taking the world by storm with almost 20,000 of these standalone kiosks being installed in 2021 alone.
Maybe you’ve noticed one of the yellow machines while you’ve been out and about and wondered just what it was. After all, bitcoin isn’t a tangible currency so why would you need an ATM for it?
Let’s take a look at how to use a bitcoin ATM machine, what they are, and where to find them.
What Is a Bitcoin ATM?
Calling these kiosks ATMs is a bit of a misnomer since they don’t work like a bank ATM that allows you to withdraw or deposit funds in your bank account. These ATMs allow you to purchase bitcoin in person in cash rather than having to do it online. The ATM creates a blockchain-based transaction to send the crypto to your digital wallet.
Most of these kiosks allow you to buy and sell bitcoin, though some only do one or the other. Sending money through a bitcoin ATM is a simple transaction as long as you have the address to their digital wallet. Newer machines might allow you to sell your bitcoin and dispense cash, but those are rare still.
How to Use a Bitcoin ATM
Using one of these kiosks is pretty straightforward, although there are a few more steps than with a bank ATM. You’ll need to start by getting a crypto or digital wallet that supports the currency you want to trade.
Most kiosks require you to enter a phone number to verify your identity and register the transaction. You then input your digital wallet address, usually by scanning a QR code the wallet generates for you. This tells the ATM where to send the crypto.
Insert your cash into the machine, which will tell you how much bitcoin you can exchange it for. Once you accept the exchange rate, the transaction proceeds. Because of all the confirmations needed on the blockchain to verify the deal, it can take as much as an hour before you see your new crypto in your wallet.
Find a Bitcoin ATM Machine
While the number of machines is growing rapidly, they aren’t nearly as ubiquitous as bank ATMs yet. You might have stumbled across one in a strip mall recently, but most likely, you’ll need to do some searching to find one.
Tracking one down is easy with a site like bytefederal.com, which allows you to search by location. Other sites might also let you compare machines to check the different fees for each.
How to Use a Bitcoin ATM Machine
With the increase in cryptocurrency use around the world, knowing how to use a bitcoin ATM machine can give you convenient access to the market and a way to manage your wallet. As they continue to pop up in gas stations, airports, and grocery stores, these kiosks offer people a way to buy and sell bitcoin outside of the exchanges.
Check out the rest of our site for more on using a bitcoin ATM and other cryptocurrency topics.