ATMs are the fastest way of cashing out or selling Bitcoin, so it’s unsurprising that many crypto enthusiasts are interested in using one. For this reason, we have created a detailed guide on how to use bitcoin ATM.
How Does Bitcoin ATM Work?
A Bitcoin ATM, or a BATM, shares some similarities to bank ATMs, but there are some technical differences between the two. Regular bank ATMs let you deposit and withdraw your own money, as well as to dispense cash. However, BATM transfers funds to and from a Bitcoin address.
Through the machine, the user is connected to an exchange and can select the function he wants to execute (Buy/ Sell). Then, he receives a verification text on his phone, and provides the Bitcoin address where the funds are to be transferred. He will then deposit the fiat money into the machine. After transaction confirmation, the bitcoin is deposited into the address provided by the user.
Not all Bitcoin ATMs are built alike. Some only allow you to buy cryptocurrencies, while others include both buying and selling options.
BATMs feature built-in KYC (know your customer) procedures, which vary from provider to provider. Some machines allow you to transfer bitcoin anonymously, while others will require ID or even fingerprint scanning.
The actual process of purchasing and selling bitcoin is different depending on the machine. Some BATM providers buy in advance and stock the machine with Bitcoins, while other operators connect their ATM to an online exchange, which effectuates the transfers for the user. Because of this, the processing times of the ATM may vary significantly.
Below are some of the most popular Bitcoin ATMs that connect you to an exchange when you buy/sell bitcoins:
- Genesis1 Bitcoin ATM;
- Satoshi1 Bitcoin ATM;
- Satoshi2 Bitcoin ATM;
- Lamassu Bitcoin ATM;
- Lamassu with Santo Tirso;
- General Bytes BATM2 (one-way);
- General Bytes BATM3 (two-way);
Before we tell you how to use Bitcoin ATM, let’s go through some advantages and disadvantages of using a BATM.
- A Fast and easy way of selling/buying bitcoins;
- No bank accounts required;
- Depending on the ATM, you can trade anonymously.
- High transaction costs (between 7 to 15 percent plus, and sometimes an additional spread directly into the BTC price);
- BATMs are not available in many countries and cities;
- BATMs do not take multiple bills at a time;
- Not suitable for large transactions, as deposit and withdrawal limits are usually between $1000-$10,000.
Buying Bitcoin via ATM
Step 1: Find a Bitcoin ATM
There are around 5,457 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide, with Genesis Coin and General Bytes being the top two providers in the industry. You can access Coin ATM Radar or Bitcoin ATM Map to check if a BATM is near your location.
Access Coin Radar:
- Type in your “city/address” and click “enter;”
- Click on a “Bitcoin ATM” near to view details;
- Click “Get Directions” to get the directions on Google maps;
- In “View listing,” there is more information, such as user feedback, operating hours, business name, and others.
Bitcoin ATM Map allows you to filter your search through location, ATM model, functionality options (one way or two way), max buy fees, and max sell fees.
Now that you have found the nearest machine to your location let’s dive deep into how to use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell bitcoin.
As we mentioned above, buying bitcoin may be different based on the ATM provider, but the process is similar to most machines.
Step 2: Identity verification
Depending on the machine type and operator, the verification process can be optional, but there are very few ATMs that do not require ID verification.
Some have different requirements, such as your phone number, ID card scan, or fingerprint scan.
Step 3: Scan bitcoin address for deposit
After your ID has been checked, you will have to supply the Bitcoin address to the ATM, where you want the Bitcoins to be deposited.
On your mobile phone, generate from your BTC wallet a QR code and place it in front of the ATM’s scanner. You can also scan the QR code printed on your paper wallet (if you have one).
Step 4: Deposit the fiat currency
Insert the cash with which you want to buy the bitcoins into the ATM. You will have to introduce the paper bills one by one into the deposit area, as very few ATMs allow you to make bulk deposits.
Step 5: Confirm deposit
Confirm the deposited amount and finish the transaction by tapping “BUY,” “FINISH,” or “CONFIRM.”
You will then have to wait for the transaction to be settled, and you will receive the bitcoin in the provided wallet address.
Selling Bitcoins via ATMs
Our how to use bitcoin ATM guide will also explain the general selling process at BATMs:
- Tap on the screen and enter how much bitcoin you want to sell;
- Send the bitcoin to the address featured on the ATM screen;
- Wait for the transaction to be confirmed;
- Retrieve the cash dispensed by the ATM.
As Bitcoin ATMs have different buy/sell procedures based on the company that created them, we have included some of the most popular types along with their instructions.
San Diego-based Genesis Coin launched this ATM, which works almost like traditional bank ATMs. It features both buy and sell functionalities and, in addition to bitcoin, it also supports Litecoin, Dogecoin, BlackCoin, and XCurrency.
Genesis is one of the few BATMs that have a fingerprint scanner for identity verification and higher transaction fees.
How to buy BTC using Genesis ATM:
- Tap the “Buy Bitcoins” button on the screen;
- Provide a mobile number;
- Enter the code you received through SMS;
- Scan your fingerprint;
- Choose your cryptocurrency (in this case, BTC);
- Select to scan a wallet (pre-defined) or generate new;
- Scan wallet QR code;
- Insert fiat bills into ATM;
- Tap “Send;”
- Wait for the printed receipt.
How to use a bitcoin ATM from Genesis to sell BTC:
- Select the withdraw cash option;
- Select your crypto (BTC);
- Type in how much you want to withdraw;
- Send Bitcoins to the address QR code from your mobile wallet;
- Collect your fiat funds.
Lamassu is the second most popular Bitcoin ATM provider after Genesis Coin. The company has installed 453 machines all over the world. Compared to Genesis, Lamassu is a more low-cost option. The ATM has no paper wallet printer, and you will have to provide your wallet address either through your phone or printed paper. Based on your geographic location, the verification steps may vary.
How to use a bitcoin ATM from Lamassu to buy BTC:
- Tap the “Start” button on the screen;
- Complete verification process;
- Scan QR code of your wallet;
- Insert the fiat bills into the ATM;
- Tap “Send;”
- Wait for the transaction to be confirmed.
Another well-known ATM provider is BitAccess, a Canadian company. The ATM features both buy and sell options.
How to buy bitcoins using BitAccess Bitcoin ATM:
- Tap the screen to Start;
- Provide your phone number and click “proceed;”
- Enter the verification code you received on your phone number;
- Scan the QR code of your BTC wallet;
- Deposit fiat currency and click “proceed;”
- Your coins will be credited to your BTC address.
With this, we conclude our guide on how to use bitcoin ATM. Even if BATMs are one of the most expensive ways of buying or selling bitcoin, they are certainly the fastest way of transferring BTC.
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