Bitcoin is not the only cryptocurrency available to investors. Altcoins have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages, just like with any other investment. Altcoin ATMs, the kiosks that let you quickly purchase cryptocurrency are becoming increasingly popular across the country with people wanting to invest with minimal tech fuss.
Most major Altcoin ATMs now allow users to purchase a variety of altcoins such as Litecoin (LTC) and Ethereum (ETH) with easy to follow touch screen instructions.
What is an Altcoin ATM?
An Altcoin ATM is an automated teller machine that allows users to purchase cryptocurrency without the need for traditional banking. There are two primary types of crypto ATMs: one-way and two-way. One-way machines allow you to sell your cryptocurrency and receive cash in exchange, while two-way machines let you both buy and sell bitcoin. Moreover, since cryptocurrency ATMs have entered the mainstream, they have become more user-friendly and accessible.
History of the Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin was first introduced in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a developer or group of developers who went by the pseudonym. As the cryptocurrency gained popularity, so did the concept of the bitcoin ATM. By early 2016, five bitcoin ATMs were installed in Vancouver alone. More than 160 machines have since been installed all around the world, with Chicago and Toronto seeing more than 50 machines each.
One-way bitcoin ATMs are simpler machines used mostly to exchange cryptocurrency for fiat currency such as USD or EUR. They are not equipped to handle altcoins. On the other hand, two-way bitcoin ATMs have a broader range of functionality. They allow users to both buy and sell bitcoin using cash. In order to make a purchase, you must first create an account with the company running the ATM and a wallet of choice.
While bitcoin ATMs are fine for those who want to purely purchase bitcoin, for people who want to buy alternative cryptocurrencies (altcoins). The term ‘altcoin’ is short for ‘alternative coins.’ Altcoins are cryptocurrencies that were not created by Bitcoin developers but rather by other entrepreneurs. Some altcoins are superior to bitcoin due to their faster transaction times, lower transaction fees and improved security. A growing number of altcoin ATMs allow you to purchase bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using fiat currency. The primary benefit of using an altcoin ATM is that it eliminates the need for a traditional account.
How the AltCoin Teller Machines Work
There are two main types of Teller Machines:
- Unidirectional ATMs: One-way ATMs are the most common, and they work by allowing you to buy bitcoin in exchange for a dollar or other fiat currency, then deposit the cash into the machine.
- Bidirectional ATMs: The bidirectional ATMs allow you to buy and sell cryptocurrencies at the same time, they are also more secure than one-way ATMs.
1. Identity Verification
You will have to verify your identity if you want to purchase cryptocurrency from an altcoin ATM. This is the same process used in many online cryptocurrency exchanges, so you probably already have some experience with it. The first time you make a purchase, you cannot use a credit or debit card; instead, you must exchange cash for digital currency. If you wish to purchase altcoins in the future, then you will be able to use your debit or credit card as a payment method; provided that your identity has been verified beforehand.
2. Choose the Type of Transaction you want to Perform
In order to make a purchase, you will have to determine whether you want to sell or buy altcoins. The process is exactly the same, but the selection will be slightly different on the ATM’s display screen.
3. Insert Cash
The process of buying crypto is much like purchasing from a regular ATM. Insert your cash and select what kind of currency you would like to receive in return. Note that there are certain limits on the maximum amount of cash you can withdraw; it depends on the machine you are using.
4. Choose the Coin You Want to Buy
You will have to insert your payment card into the card reader, scan your card in the right direction and then select which coin you would like to buy on the screen. Depending on which crypto ATMs you use, you might be limited to the number of altcoins you can purchase.
5. Receiving and Sending your Coin
Once your transaction has been completed, you will receive a receipt for your new cryptocurrency. There may also be instructions on how to send the purchased tokens to an online wallet or other address.
Advantages of the Altcoin ATM
Altcoin ATMs are useful for people who want a more convenient option in exchange for using cryptocurrency.
- One-way ATM machines allow you to buy altcoins for cash, which is much more convenient than making an account with an exchange.
- Two-way cryptocurrency ATMs give users the ability to both buy and sell altcoins at the same time.
Disadvantages of Altcoin ATMs
The first disadvantage of using an ATM are transaction fees. You will also not be able to buy any altcoin besides bitcoin if it does not support altcoins. That said, the exchange rate is usually much better than what you would find at a cryptocurrency exchange.
Altcoin automated teller machines are widely-distributed and relatively easy to use, which means that even beginner cryptocurrency enthusiasts will be able to use them with relative ease. The most significant disadvantage of using bitcoin ATMs is that you will have to pay transaction fees. However, these fees are much lower than the fees charged by online cryptocurrency exchanges and they allow you to buy altcoins using fiat currency; which makes them a great choice for those who do not have a bank account.
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