Bitcoin ATMs: How Do They Work - America's Bitcoin ATMs
October 6, 2021 3:30 pm in

Bitcoin ATMs: How Do They Work

The future is here, and it’s in the form of Bitcoin. Bitcoin ATMs are an increasingly popular way to buy and sell bitcoin with cash. But what exactly is a bitcoin? And how does one go about buying bitcoins with an ATM machine? This article will answer all your questions about this new technology that has many people talking. We’ll start by answering the most popular question: What are Bitcoins?

What Are Bitcoins?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer payment system introduced in 2009 by an unknown person or group under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s meant to be used as an unregulated digital currency that can send payments instantaneously without regulations.

They are a decentralized digital currency that is regulated by computer encryption and not by any particular government. Bitcoins can be traded for services, products, or cash. Like the US dollar, the euro, or the pound, bitcoins are valuable because they’re accepted as payment for goods or services. The difference between bitcoins and traditional currencies is that there’s no central authority governing bitcoins’ generation, distribution, and valuation.

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM is an internet connected ATM machine that allows a person to exchange bitcoins and cash. Some Bitcoin ATMs offer bi-directional functionality, meaning you can buy bitcoin with fiat and vice versa. These types of machines are typically found in places where people might want to convert their digital currency into cash or the other way around, such as airports, train stations, shopping malls, and grocery stores.

Why Would I Want a Bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATMs are beneficial for people who want to enter the world of bitcoin but have no interest in managing their private keys. That means they don’t want anything to do with software, blockchain, or cryptocurrency networks. Instead, these people just want easy access to bitcoins to purchase things online or convert them to cash so they can shop in person.

How do Bitcoin ATMs Work?

If you want to buy bitcoins from an ATM machine, you need to find a BTM in your area and follow the instructions on the screen.

Using a Bitcoin ATM To Buy Bitcoins

If you’re interested in purchasing bitcoins, one of the easiest ways to do so is by finding and using a Bitcoin ATM near you. It’s possible to buy bitcoins at these machines using cash or a debit card, and the transaction fees which apply will be roughly similar to the ones applied by online exchanges. The following step-by-step walkthrough will show you how to buy bitcoins from a Bitcoin ATM:

1. Choose the Amount of Bitcoins You Wish To Purchase

Using a machine’s screen or other interfaces, choose the number of bitcoins you wish to purchase and type this amount into the machine. If you want to get the best price for your purchase, then look for a machine that has a good reputation, charges low fees, and supports other types of cryptocurrency.

2. Insert Cash or Use Your Debit Card

Most Bitcoin ATMs have an interface that’s similar to an online form where you can insert cash into the machine in exchange for bitcoins. You can also use a debit card to purchase bitcoins, and most machines will support at least the major credit and debit cards such as VISA, MasterCard, and Maestro.

3. Receive Bitcoins Instantly

After inserting cash or swiping your card, the machine should process your request instantly and display a receipt that includes a confirmation of your transaction and the number of bitcoins you received.

4. Verify Your Transaction

Most Bitcoin machines will require some verification before they process your order. For instance, these devices may support ID card verification which means you’ll need to hold an ID in front of the machine’s camera or enter your personal details manually. If you’re using a privacy-protecting Bitcoin ATM, then the transaction will likely be instantly confirmed because it won’t ask for any personal details.

Using a Bitcoin ATM to Sell Bitcoins

Although most people are interested in purchasing bitcoins, some people want to sell or cash out their digital currency for fiat money. Fortunately, it’s easy to determine which Bitcoin ATMs support sell operations because these devices should have the word “buy” crossed out and replaced with the word “sell.”

As previously mentioned, some BTMs just offer to send services, so you’ll need to look for a machine that’s able to accept your coins. If this is not possible, you may have to rely on a third-party exchange service that is not ideal.

1. Choose the Amount of Bitcoins You Wish To Sell

In most cases, you’ll need to insert cash into the machine before you can begin selling bitcoins. However, some machines have an option that allows you to sell your coins at a given price. If you’re not sure how much money you need, then check the machine’s instructions or contact its support team.

2. Insert Cash Into The Machine

Insert the cash into the machine and choose an option that corresponds to “sell bitcoins.” Some machines will offer sell limits based on your daily transactions, personal information, etc. However, these limits are usually quite high.

3. Receive Cash Instantly

Once your transaction is processed, the money will be dispensed, and you can withdraw it from the machine or leave it there for future transactions. Once your coins have been sold, you’ll need to terminate the sell order, so no unwanted charges apply to your account.

Reasons to Use a Bitcoin ATM Machine

There are various reasons why most people use Bitcoin ATMs. Some of the reasons are discussed here.

1. They are Convenient

There’s no simpler way to convert cash into bitcoins and vice versa. Bitcoin ATMs are the most convenient method of purchasing your first few bitcoins until you get comfortable enough with cryptocurrency wallets and network settings to use them in person or online. There is a learning curve for using Bitcoin ATMs, but they’re easy to learn if you have some background knowledge on cryptocurrency basics.

2. They are Fast

Compared to using an online exchange, Bitcoin ATMs take just a couple of minutes to process your purchases and sales. The speed is since you’re basing the transaction on physical cash instead of digital funds. It’s also possible for some BTC ATMs to process your documents instantly.

3. They are Safe

Although some BTC ATMs ask you to use a phone number as part of the verification process, most don’t. With that said, almost all ATMs have privacy-enhancing features, which include: no registration or personal information needed to sell bitcoins and private key atm receipts, so your real address isn’t exposed.

People Who Benefit From Using a Bitcoin ATM

There are various groups of people that benefit from using a Bitcoin ATM. For example, there are the following:

1. People Who Don’t Own a Blockchain Wallet

Bitcoin ATMs are great for people who don’t have a wallet but wish to purchase bitcoins using cash or a debit card. The same applies in reverse for bitcoin faucets that give away free bitcoins in exchange for watching ads.

2. People Who Want to Buy Large Amounts of Bitcoins

Since Bitcoin ATMs usually charge higher transaction fees than online exchanges, these machines are best used when purchasing smaller amounts of bitcoins. Although some BTMs have a minimum limit per purchase, most do not, so you could use them to buy ten bitcoins or less.

3. People Who Want to Keep Their Bitcoin Transactions Private

Most Bitcoin ATMs are private, which means you’ll usually have to provide your personal information when registering an account with the machine’s operator. However, some machines don’t require this type of verification, so using them is a great way to stay anonymous.

4. People Who Plan to Sell Bitcoins for Cash

Using a Bitcoin ATM to sell bitcoins is a great way to avoid transaction fees involved with selling bitcoins through an online exchange. As long as the machine has your bank account’s routing number and account number, you’ll be able to receive cash from your sales within seconds.


Bitcoin ATMs are a convenient way of buying and selling bitcoins, especially for those who may not have access to online exchanges or prefer more privacy. Although these machines can be somewhat expensive, they’re one of the easiest ways to buy and sell digital currency. Just look for a machine that accepts cash and supports your country’s native currency.


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