Depending on where you are in the world and how familiar you are with cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin ATMs can either be very familiar to you or a rather foreign concept to you. Traditionally, Bitcoin has been bought and sold primarily over the internet, but the number of Bitcoin ATMs is on the rise around the world. So why do Bitcoin ATMs exist in the cyber age? And how do you use them?
What is a Bitcoin ATM?
A Bitcoin ATM looks like a regular ATM, but instead of dispensing fiat currency, it dispenses — you guessed it — Bitcoin. Some machines even allow you to sell Bitcoins. Globally, nearly ¾ of machines only allow people to buy Bitcoin.
Why use a Bitcoin ATM?
If you can buy Bitcoin on the internet, why do people even use a Bitcoin ATM?
Ease of use and comfort
While Bitcoin can be purchased over the internet, some, perhaps the older generation, are becoming more familiar with traditional ways of handling currency. With Bitcoin ATM, these people can buy Bitcoins in their daily work. They can make it part of their shopping trip: (1) Buy groceries (2) Visit a Bitcoin ATM.
It can also be very useful for people traveling abroad as people can simply exchange Bitcoin for their local fiat currency at an ATM instead of having to go from fiat to fiat, which can sometimes be a cumbersome process.
One of the main benefits of using a Bitcoin ATM is the fast transaction speed. Transactions can be completed very quickly, in around 15 seconds, unlike buying over the internet where – depending on where they are buying – people may need a transfer from bank accounts to a Bitcoin wallet or vice versa, which can take a day or even more.
Bitcoin ATMs are safe to use because there are no third parties involved, just the maker and user of the machine. Like online Bitcoin transactions, only you know your Bitcoin wallet address, so as long as it’s kept secure, your transaction is safe. The machines also allow for anonymity, i.e. no traces are left behind after the events.
In Bybit you can register an account without KYC. However, this is not the case with many online exchanges – you have to provide personal information. With Bitcoin ATMs, you don’t have to – all transactions are completely anonymous.
Most Bitcoin ATMs are located in countries with financial containment, but the machines provide livelihoods for people in countries where people may not have bank accounts. For example, in Venezuela, a country that has experienced severe economic hardship in recent years, the country’s first Bitcoin ATM opened in September 2019. Many in the country have switched to Bitcoin as their primary currency due to hyperinflation from ATMs . it is often not possible to spend cash, so the vending machine in the city of San Antonio del Táchira offers an added benefit to those who use it, as it can provide them with much-needed cash.
Can I buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM?
It is worth pointing out that before you can buy Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM or sell or convert it into fiat currency, you must have a Bitcoin wallet. Some allow you to actually create one at the ATM, while others require you to create one in advance. Read this guide on how to add your Bitcoin wallet to Bybit if you don’t already have one. While it may vary slightly between different ATMs, the general process for buying Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM is the same.
- After collecting “buy”, the Bitcoin machine will ask you how many Bitcoins you want, so enter the amount you want. At this point the ATM should tell you how much it costs in fiat.
- Verify your phone number with a text message sent to your phone (although not all Bitcoin ATMs do this security process)
- Some Bitcoin ATMs may also require additional security measures at this stage, such as a fingerprint or ID, so provide your fingerprint or ID if prompted at this step.
- Go to “deposit” and enter your Bitcoin wallet address. This can be done by manually entering the wallet QR code or by scanning it from your phone.
- Deposit the requested amount of Fiat into the ATM (in cash or by debit/credit card)
- Obtain an ATM receipt for the transaction
How to sell Bitcoin with Bitcoin ATM
- Select “sell” when prompted by the Bitcoin ATM
- Choose the amount you want to sell in Bitcoin and cash out (after payment)
- Scan the QR code printed on the receipt or displayed on the screen to send the desired amount of Bitcoin
- Then you have to wait for the confirmation of the transaction. This can happen quickly or take up to 24 hours depending on the quantity sold. Depending on the machine, you may receive a text message when the money is ready. Alternatively, you may need to scan the QR code of the receipt provided by the machine.
- Click “Exchange” and withdraw money.
Bitcoin ATM Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Do Bitcoin ATM Fees Cost?
There is no denying that Bitcoin ATMs have high transaction fees. The average for buying Bitcoin is estimated at around 8.5% and selling Bitcoin for cash is estimated at 5.5%. Compared to online Bitcoin transactions, this is significantly higher. Part of the reason is that they are still quite new in development, but as their numbers continue to grow around the world and competition between machine makers intensifies, hopefully rates will come down. properly.
Are Bitcoin ATMs easy to use?
Also, for those of us who are less computer savvy and live in less economically developed countries, it may be more convenient to use a Bitcoin ATM to buy and sell Bitcoin instead of the internet.
How many Bitcoin ATMs are there in the world?
Throughout 2020, the number of Bitcoin ATMs grew by leaps and bounds. As of November 2020, the number was close to 12,000, but at the start of the year, the number was slightly over 6,000. A new machine is installed every hour.
North America leads the way in terms of geographic spread, with 87% of Bitcoin ATMs worldwide located in the United States or Canada. Europe is next in the richest 10%, with the UK leading the pack. Perhaps surprisingly, despite being the much-labelled “crypto center of the world,” Asia has less than 1% of all Bitcoin ATMs. Hong Kong is a pioneer in Asia.
Bitcoin ATMs are sure to appeal to many due to their ease of use, and their growing visibility will help bring Bitcoin to the wider population as legitimate currency. However. As with most things that can go mainstream, there are hurdles. High transaction fees may be one of the factors preventing Bitcoin ATMs from growing further. As their global expansion continues and competition among machine makers intensifies, hopefully rates will fall and usage will increase. This, in turn, can only contribute to the mass adoption of Bitcoin.