There are now over 32,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the US, making it easier than ever to find one. But, why would you want to use one when you can use your computer?
If you want to use cash to buy bitcoin or need to make a transaction while out of the house, ATMs are a big convenience.
Learn what you need and how to use one in this bitcoin ATM kiosk guide.
What is a Bitcoin ATM and how Does it Work?
A bitcoin kiosk looks similar to a regular bank ATM but it will be clearly labeled as a bitcoin-only machine. It also acts similar to a bank ATM as it offers customers several ways to deposit, transfer, and, in some cases, withdraw money.
The main difference is that you are working with two currencies: bitcoin (or possibly another cryptocurrency) and fiat (dollar, etc.)
Another contrast is that you are not interacting with a bank but rather the blockchain of the crypto’s network. The machine itself, however, is usually owned by a private company. This means that any fees associated with your transactions come from the private company, but also include network fees to verify blockchain transactions.
Instead of a bank account connecting you to your money, an ATM uses a virtual address to identify your crypto wallet.
How to Use a Bitcoin ATM
On some machines, you will need to create an account with a private kiosk company like bytefederal.com and scan a government ID like your passport to verify you are a real person.
You will then use the kiosk to scan a QR code that obtains your bitcoin address. The QR code can be printed from your wallet or stored on your phone’s wallet app.
Once you are connected via your wallet then you have two main options: buying or selling bitcoin (sometimes you can trade for other cryptos.)
Buying Bitcoin at a Kiosk
If you want to buy bitcoin then you can insert your cash into the ATM after choosing how much bitcoin you wish to purchase. Be sure to enter the correct wallet address because this is where your newly bought bitcoin will deposit.
Once your bitcoin shows in your wallet you can then send it to anyone else with a bitcoin wallet.
Selling Bitcoin at a Kiosk
Certain ATMs will also allow you to sell your bitcoin for fiat cash. You can do this by entering the amount of bitcoin you want to sell from your wallet. The cash will come out just like at a regular ATM.
Getting Started with a Bitcoin ATM Kiosk
Bitcoin ATMs are scattered around gas stations and shopping centers but you do not have to drive around to find them. You can easily search for a bitcoin ATM kiosk in your area online. Simply search for an ATM locator and type in your zip code.
Be sure to have your bitcoin wallet address with you before you leave the house.
Check out our Technology section for more cryptocurrency topics.