Did you know you can buy cryptocurrency in person as well as online? Bitcoin ATMs have been a thing for a long time now. However, it’s only within the past year or so that they’ve gotten widespread enough to be a legitimate option. If you live near a city or a relatively populated area, chances are there a couple Bitcoin ATMs for you to choose from
How Do You Find A Bitcoin ATM?
Just like you would search for anything else. Google “Bitcoin ATMs Near Me”.
You can also check out this website here
Which Should I Pick?
If you’re a lucky duck, you’ll have options. I’d definitely suggest checking out the google reviews if there are any. You don’t want to get ripped off if a machine is broken and there is a review warning you about it.
A lot of the time, Bitcoin ATMs will be in a place like a gas station. Check out the area to make sure you’re not going somewhere shady.
Besides safety and reading the reveiws, what ATM you pick will depend on what you’re looking for:
- Some will allow you to purchase more than just Bitcoin, like Ethereum or others.
- Half require you to scan your ID, the others may require just your name and phone number.
- Some ATMs are 2 way. You can either insert cash and purchase cryptocurrency, or you send cryptocurrency to their address and receive cash
How to Use?
Usually the ATMs will link you to their website which will have specific instructions on the use of the machine. In leu of that, Here’s some general steps:
- Make sure you have your wallet set up beforehand. It‘ll go a lot quicker
- In your wallet, find a receiving address to use. Take the QR code from that and save it as an image on your phone. It should look something like this (Do NOT use this one 😅):
- Make sure you have cash to spend.
- Go to the ATM and go through the verification steps. This may be a long process, or it might just require your name and phone number.
- The machine will ask to scan your QR code. Open the image on your phone and put your phone in front of the camera on the machine
- The machine should now have your receiving address correctly displayed. It should ask you for payment.
- Either insert your cash or your card.
- Enter your address in a blockchain explorer like this one and make sure that the machine is sending your bitcoin. This may take a couple minutes.
- After you see your new balance and after waiting a couple confirmations, it should be safe for you to leave.
To put it simply, Bitcoin ATM fees are sky high. I put in 20 dollars and got 16.66 dollars‘ worth of Bitcoin... a whopping 17% fee (including Bitcoin fees). Putting in 50 dollars however, I ended up with a fee of only 8%. This was at a Coinflip ATM. In comparison, at CardxCoin, our debit card fee is around 4%.
I suppose that’s the cost of convenience. It may be worth it to you to avoid the hassle of dealing with your bank when they decide to deny a cryptocurrency debit card transaction.
When you make your first transaction, use a small amount of money to see how it works. If the machine turns out to be bad, at least you have a small amount of money on the line to lose.
I tried out 2 bitcoin ATMs, Athena Bitcoin and Coinflip. Overall, I had a good experience and I would recommend trying these types out. It was incredibly easy to use.