Bitcoin ATMs: How and Why to Use Them?

Vladlena Martus 2022-11-24

Bitcoin ATMs: How and Why to Use Them?

As always, we remind you that we tell you about exciting events and projects in the cryptocurrency market. Our blogs are for informational and entertainment purposes only and are not intended to encourage you to take action or buy anything.

Be careful and vigilant! Cryptocurrencies are risky assets that can lead to loss of finances. Try to be cautious about investments, study the theory, listen to experts, make informed decisions, and try not to invest in cryptocurrencies with the last money.

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It so happened that Bitcoins were sold and bought exclusively through the Internet, but now there are more ways for you to purchase Bitcoin easily...Like at an ATM. We would like to say at regular ATMs, but not - in a specialized ATM for cryptocurrencies.

Why do we need ATMs to withdraw crypto in the age of modern technology when all processes are easier and safer to carry out online? How to use Bitcoin ATMs? Let's find out!

What are the Bitcoin ATMs?

Bitcoin ATMs are kiosks that allow people to purchase Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies with cash or debit cards. In some cases, there is the possibility to buy Bitcoin and sell the cryptocurrency for cash. Some of the ATMs can require the user to have an existing personal account and wallet to perform the latter. Bitcoin kiosks usually look like the usual ATMs; however, they are not connected to a bank. Instead, they link the user directly to the Bitcoin wallet or exchanges.

There are two main types of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide: 

  • Unidirectional or “one-way;”
  • Bidirectional or “two-way.”

Both types of ATMs are connected to the network, so users can easily purchase cryptocurrency. In addition, it is interesting that only about ⅓ of all cryptocurrency ATMs in the world are bidirectional, and 23% are located in the USA. 

Where did the first BTC ATM appear? 

A Robocoin machine opened in the Waves coffee shop in downtown Vancouver, Canada, on the 29th of October in 2013. That was the first considered BTC kiosk publicly available for work with cryptocurrency. After two years of work, Robocoin has ceased. 

The first BTC ATM in Europe appeared in Bratislava, Slovakia, on the 8th of December in 2013. By the way, we have recently written about the capitals worldwide that are crypto-friendly enough to let you buy and sell crypto in their ATMs. It's curious, and you can check it out here

The first Bitcoin kiosk in the USA appeared in a cigar bar in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the 18th of February in 2014. However, it was closed 30 days later. The following ATM in the USA appeared at the Spitfire Grill in Seattle, WA, in May 2014. It was the first licensed BTC ATM in the country developed by Coinme.  

Why do people use a Bitcoin ATM in the first place?

It is interesting that in modern times people still use BTС ATMs and feel okay with that. Let's see the advantages that offer Bitcoin kiosks for users all over the world. 

A user-friendly and convenient way of getting the necessary money

Even if you can buy Bitcoin on the Internet, some people still prefer to use kiosks for money operations. The older generation, for example. They are more acquainted with the traditional ways of collecting currency. Thus, they will be more glad to buy crypto using ATMs. 
Bitcoin ATMs allow people to always have their money at hand when doing their routine work somewhere in the city. 
In addition, it would be advantageous to have the BTC ATMs somewhere abroad and possibly exchange crypto for local currency. This would make the fiat-to-fiat exchange process, especially when it is inconvenient in other countries.  

Speed of the process

Yes! The BTC ATMs have a quick transaction speed – an average of 15 seconds! Simultaneously, you may need to wait from a few minutes to a few days to exchange the currency online. 

Security of the process

No third parties involved – no problems! In working with ATMs, there are only you and the manufacturer, that's all. Only you will have access to your wallet; you can take any action there. In addition, no tray of your transaction will be left after – safe enough!
The anonymity of the transactions 

You don't need to register any account again at BTC ATMs or prove your identity. No tray will leave after you. Thus, your wallets will be safe enough not to be stolen by any hackers. On the other hand, the leading online exchanges will always ask you to divulge personal information. 

Financial opportunities for everyone

Most ATMs are located in countries that are good in the financial sector. However, some countries don't, so kiosks provide financial possibilities to people without bank accounts or online banking. Thus, the BTC ATMs can become their lifebuoys and give them needed cash.

How to use a BTC ATM? 

Buying Bitcoin at an ATM:

Eventually, it would help if you had a Bitcoin wallet before you could buy the cryptocurrency. There are two options: sometimes ATMs can offer you to create the wallet right at the moment, and sometimes ATMs require you to have the wallet before you come to buy BTC. 

In general, the scheme of buying BTC is almost the same:

  • After clicking the ‘buy’ button, the ATM will ask you how much Bitcoin you need to buy. Thus, you should input the desired amount. The ATM should tell you how much you need to pay in fiat;
  • Then you will need to verify your phone number via the code sent to your phone number. Note that not all BTC ATMs will offer security process like this;
  • Some Bitcoin ATMs may also require additional security steps, such as fingerprint or ID, so be ready to provide that;
  • Go to 'deposit' and write your Bitcoin wallet address. This could be done by inputting manually or by scanning the wallet QR code from your phone. Be attentive because if one mistake is made, your amount of money may be lost;
  • Then you will need to insert the required amount of fiat into the ATM by cash or debit, or credit card;
  • In the end, you can get the receipt from the ATM for the transaction if there is an option like this.

Selling Bitcoin at an ATM:

  • Select the ‘sell’ button in the menu at the ATM kiosk;
  • Input the amount of BTC you want to sell and withdraw in cash;
  • Look through the fees you need to pay for the transaction and the final amount of withdrawal;
  • Scan the QR code either printed out as a receipt or that is shown on the screen to send the amount of Bitcoin you need to sell;
  • Wait for the transaction to be confirmed. This may last longer than buying: from a couple of minutes and up to 24 hours, depending on the amount;
  • Depending on the machine, you will be notified that your money is ready to be taken. You will be able to withdraw them also using the QR code from the recipe given by the ATM;
  • Click ‘redeem’ when the money is ready and withdraw the cash.


What are the BTC ATMs fees?

Bitcoin ATMs have more considerable fees than online exchanges or platforms. Thus, the average fee amount has been estimated at around 8.5% for buying the cryptocurrency and 5,5% for selling it. Of course, compared to the online exchange, it's significantly higher. However, they say that due to the expansion of ATMs worldwide, the manufacturers will have to compete with each other for clients, so the fees may come down soon enough. 

How many BTC ATMs are there in the world?

The number of Bitcoin kiosks has been growing every month. By August 2021, this amount had reached over 23,000 machines with almost 22,000 ATMs in the USA only! Every hour there's a new kiosk installed. 

According to the data, Los Angeles has 900 vehicles as of February 2021. The "city of angels" is followed by Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Dallas, and Miami, a growing crypto city. 

There are also BTC ATMs in such countries as Canada, the UK, Austria, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and Spain. Europe, by the way, has 10% of all the ATMs distribution, with the UK leading the way. Asia, a labeled and famous continent for crypto lovers, has only 1% of ATMs worldwide, with Hong Kong leading the way. 

All of the above prove that Bitcoin is getting its everyday-routine usage worldwide, and the tendency will only grow. With the demand growing and the people's interests, BTC ATMs will be more popular, and the fees will decrease. 

The Bitcoin ATMs are an excellent fiat kiosk replacement. Who knows, maybe someday we will be using these ATMs for everyday-getting-cash or buying BTC to pay for some subscriptions right now. We'll see!

Where else can you buy cryptocurrency? 

Wisebitcoin is a reliable cryptocurrency trading exchange platform that provides excellent service and conditions for crypto trading. You can easily create an account and buy cryptocurrency – our interface is user-friendly, and our support team will be ready to help you anytime you need it. 

We offer our traders deep liquidity, 100X leverage, and cloud services that unify over 200 other cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide. It has different kinds of wallets inside the platform to keep your cryptocurrency and trade when you decide. In addition, our main priority is to keep our traders informed about the latest events, and we secure their assets as much as possible. 

Wisebitcoin is also connected to the cloud of 15 million users and more than 280 merchants. That helps us be one of the most promising and attractive platforms to work with. 

Join Wisebitcoin and be up-to-date with worldwide events and their affection for the cryptocurrency market! We hope to become a great partner in your crypto journey! And also, read Wisebitcoin. We have a lot of great and exciting blogs there!

Always in touch,
your Wisebitcoin!