There are now more than 10,000 Bitcoin ATMs, also known as BTMs, in the world, more than three-quarters of which are installed in the United States. The first Bitcoin ATM was installed in 2013. It is seven years between the installation of the first Bitcoin ATM and the ten thousandth, compared to the nine years it took for banks to do the same with normal ATMs in the decade 1970.
What are BTMs?
Most people think of Bitcoin as an asset that people invest in for the long term or trade in the short-term markets through brokers and exchanges. But it is also used as a currency to buy consumer goods and services. That has fueled the rise of BTMs, which are literally ATMs for Bitcoin rather than government-issued currency. At any BTM, you can buy Bitcoin with regular cash. At some BTMs, you can also sell Bitcoin for cash. Also, most BTMs will allow you to insert cash to send as Bitcoin to another recipient’s account or Bitcoin wallet.
How to find BTM
You will often find a BTM next to a normal ATM kiosk. These are showing up more frequently at gas stations and convenience stores across the country. To find all the BTMs in an area, you can use one of the many Bitcoin ATM maps to search. Not all BTM networks are the same, some offer much better customer service than others. Carefully research the networks to find the ones that work best for you. Then make sure that the BTMs you find are compatible with the chosen network (s).
How BTMs Work
Using a BTM to buy, sell, or send Bitcoin is as simple as using a regular ATM to deposit, withdraw, or transfer funds. Just follow these steps:
Buy Bitcoin at a BTM
Create a secure account with the given Bitcoin ATM operator. Get a Bitcoin wallet in which to store records of all the Bitcoin transactions you make. You can download any number of smartphone apps to accomplish this. Just search your app store for “Bitcoin wallet”. Insert cash into a BTM. Indicate the address of the Bitcoin wallet where you want the money to go, either yours or someone else’s. The BTM will then convert your cash into Bitcoin at the current market rate at the time of your transaction and subtract the operator fee (s). See more about the fees below. Receive confirmation from the BTM that your Bitcoin wallet now contains a secure deposit record.
Sell Bitcoin on a BTM
If you have Bitcoin to sell, that means you must already have a Bitcoin wallet. You can even have more than one. Before you can sell Bitcoin to another party, you must first find out which Bitcoin wallet and key to use for the transaction. Then you need to find a BTM that supports that wallet and make sure you have an account set up with your carrier. In the BTM, log in to your account, indicate the amount of Bitcoin you want to sell and the address of the Bitcoin wallet from which you want to sell it, wait for the BTM to verify the transaction with blockchain or the Bitcoin network. This can take longer than it takes to buy Bitcoin through a BTM. Once your transaction is verified, withdraw the cash you received for the sale, minus the operator fee. Please note that the exchange will take place at the current market rate for Bitcoin, which means that it may not necessarily be worth the same amount as when you originally bought it. Please note that different BTMs take different periods of time to process. transactions.
Sending cash or Bitcoin in a BTM
To send Bitcoin through a BTM to the Bitcoin wallet of another party, simply sell the Bitcoin, as described above, and receive the proceeds in the Bitcoin wallet of the chosen party. To send cash to another party’s Bitcoin wallet via a BTM, make sure you have an account with the particular operator of the BTM that you plan to use for the transaction. At the BTM, log in to your account. Indicate how much cash you want to send and the Bitcoin wallet you want to send it to. Insert the cash. Receive confirmation that the cash was successfully converted to Bitcoin and deposited in the wallet you indicated.
All BTMs charge an operator fee and some also charge a miner fee. These fees can vary widely between operators, so it is worth researching the fees of different operators and comparing them before deciding which ones to establish an account with. Bitcoin hit an all-time high of close to $ 20,000 in 2017, at which point the network got bogged down with users, leaving room for other cryptocurrencies to appear and fill in the gaps. Now, you will find crypto ATMs for a variety of cryptocurrencies, although almost a third of them exclusively support Bitcoin. Featured image via Unsplash.
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