How to Use a Bitcoin ATM

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· 07 Dec 2021

As crypto goes mainstream, improving access to the world’s leading digital currency is becoming an increasingly important part of the Bitcoin experience.

In recent years, the value of Bitcoin and the number of coins in circulation soared, with businesses and consumers from all over the world wanting to know how to use it and own it. Today, Bitcoin is much more of a necessity than a novelty in worldwide transactions, and that means the demand for tools that turn crypto into cash is on the rise. Enter Bitcoin ATMs.

Also known as BTMs, these Bitcoin transaction machines share a number of characteristics with other types of ATMs. But there are a few notable differences. Our guide will walk you through the basics and help you learn how to use a Bitcoin ATM.

For starters, the key distinction between BTMs and traditional cash machines is that the former enables people to sell or buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies using paper money. Of course, that doesn’t mean that completing these transactions is complicated. On the contrary, using a Bitcoin ATM is a straightforward process requiring a few simple steps.

How to Use a Bitcoin ATM

Find a BTM Location Near You

For the sake of convenience, it’s important to locate a Bitcoin ATM near your home or workplace. There are a number of tools to help you with your search, including Coin ATM Radar, which provides a live map for Bitcoin ATMs.

The site also keeps track of other information relevant to Bitcoin ATMs, including verification procedures and things like Bitcoin ATM fees. Once you access the site, you’ll need to:

  1. Enter your location in the search bar on the homepage
  2. Click the search icon to access the list of ATMs closest to you
  3. Pick your preferred Bitcoin ATM, and hit the ‘get directions’ button to get the exact address.

Buying Bitcoin Using a BTM

If you’re trying to figure out how to buy Bitcoins from an ATM there are a few simple steps you should follow:

  • First, select the range in which you wish to buy Bitcoin. Just like you would with a traditional ATM, you’ll need to state how much Bitcoin you want to get. For instance, if you want to buy $100 worth of the digital currency, select the $0-$500 range. If you’re trying to buy $700 worth, select the $500-$1000 range.
  • Next, scan your Bitcoin wallet QR code using your mobile phone. This is where the Bitcoin you purchased will be sent. If you don’t have a wallet, you can just print a paper wallet, which you can import into a wallet later. Better still, you can download a Bitcoin wallet from the App store.

Some machines will ask that you provide your phone number, to which a verification code will be sent, or you may be asked to show an official ID to comply with the so-called “know your customer” or KYC monitoring requirements.

  • From here, you’ll insert the paper money into the ATM. The exact amount will be displayed on the screen. You will also see the amount of Bitcoin that you can buy with that money, as well as the Bitcoin address where the BTC is being sent.
  • Select “Confirm Purchase”. Once that’s done, your transaction will be confirmed.
  • You’ll complete the transaction by hitting “Done” before retrieving a receipt. You should receive the Bitcoin at the wallet address you provided. As is the case with other transactions, it’s important to hold onto your receipts because these serve as proof of purchase.

The entire process takes anywhere between three to five minutes, which is roughly the same amount of time it takes to use a traditional ATM.

Understanding Bitcoin ATM Warnings

Now that you know how to use a BTM, there are a few other things you need to bear in mind when conducting transactions through these crypto machines.

There Are No Refunds

This should be common knowledge. Due to the nature of Bitcoin, when you make a transaction using Bitcoin ATM machines, the process is irreversible. So you’ll need to know what you’re doing.

Scam warnings

You should also know that bills and services cannot be paid using a Bitcoin ATM. Hence, if you are asked to make a payment using a Bitcoin ATM, you’re probably being targeted by scammers.

If you decide to use a paper wallet, you should keep it safe and never send the picture to anyone. If a third party has details about your paper wallet, they can use it to access your funds.

Never Purchase Bitcoins for Third Parties

One of the more important security components when it comes to a Bitcoin ATM and how to use it concerns third parties. In short, you should never make a BTC purchase for another person. You should only be making transactions for yourself.

How to Sell BTC Using A Bitcoin ATM

Selling Bitcoin using a Bitcoin ATM requires you to send your crypto to a wallet provided by the ATM through a QR code. When you sell your Bitcoin, you will either receive cash or be given a code to redeem while the transaction is confirmed on the blockchain.

Bitcoin ATM Operators

Amid the growing demand for BTMs, a number of manufacturers and operators are working to corner the market.

Genesis Coin is a leading operator holding about 35% of the world’s market share as of 2020. Another premier provider of vending solutions for digital assets is General Bytes, with a 30% of market share. Other notable providers include Bitaccess, Coinsource, and Lamassu, which hold no more than 10% of the market.


How do I use Bitcoin ATM the first time?

Using a Bitcoin ATM is a straightforward process requiring the following steps:

  • Select the option to buy bitcoin
  • Scan the QR code
  • Enter the amount you want to buy
  • Insert the cash
  • Wait for your transaction to be processed and confirmed

How does Bitcoin ATM work?

A Bitcoin machine is usually designed as a kiosk, allowing people to buy or sell Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. They are connected to the internet and rely on QR codes to send or receive tokens to digital wallets.