How to use a Bitcoin ATM

ATMs (Automated Teller Machines) are devices that allow us to efficiently perform financial transactions, like fund transfers and deposits. With the use of a debit card, you are able to withdraw an array of money types (USD, EUR, etc.). Since their creation, they have become vehicles for everything pertaining to finances. Normally, we associate these machines with traditional currency, but with the rise of cryptocurrency, it’s not outlandish to assume that there will be ATMs specifically for digital currency.

Well, there is no need to wait for that because they already exist.

Bitcoin ATMs have been popping up in various locations as of late. Evidently, this is great news for those of us who wish to conduct transactions with our bitcoins through telecommunication devices. There is an element of convenience that could come from this, just like how convenient and beneficial traditional ATMs are.

Now, you may understand how Bitcoin works on its own, but what about these special machines? How exactly do they work? This article will serve as a guide to how you use these devices. In addition, it will show you how you can effectively track down the nearest one.

What are these machines?

Bitcoin ATMs are similar in design to a traditional ATM that disperses fiat currencies. Unlike conventional ATMs, some Bitcoin ATMs permit you to actually withdraw bitcoins from it. There are even some that convert your bitcoins into fiat currencies. There are a handful of these ATMs that provide services for both withdrawals and conversions.

There are two predominant types of Bitcoin machines: ATMs and cash kiosks. Both connect to the Internet, thus allowing for payments via debit card or cash. This is done in exchange for bitcoins either given as a paper receipt or by moving money to a public key.

Bitcoin cash kiosks resemble conventional ATMs, however, they don’t connect to a bank account. In lieu of this, they connect the user directly to a Bitcoin exchange. Bitcoin ATMs are comparable to traditional ATMs and they connect to a bank account to permit a cashless bitcoin purchase.

An advisory by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) states the following:

“…they may also charge high transaction fees – media reports describe transaction fees as high as 7% and exchange rates $50 over rates you could get elsewhere.”


A noteworthy aspect of Bitcoin ATMs is that it will allow you to anonymously buy/sell bitcoins. There is absolutely no need for KYC (Know Your Client) or AML (Anti-Money Laundering) in order to transact. This basically means that it’s a pretty reliable way to secure both your identity and your privacy. Be that as it may, as the CFPB similarly notes in its advisory that privacy does not come for free. These ATMs will typically charge users 7-10% for buying/selling bitcoins.

For many, though, that is a fee worth paying. Given the benefits of using these machines, it’s no wonder that some are of the belief that it’s worth it.

Locating the closest machines

Surprisingly, the hardest part when it comes to Bitcoin ATMs isn’t using them; it’s locating them. This is primarily due to the low number of these ATMs worldwide. While there are indeed some that are out there, they aren’t exactly plentiful. This, obviously, makes them tricky to track down, especially when looking for the nearest ones.

You can track down the closest Bitcoin ATM by using the Coin ATM Radar service. This will provide you with the option of seeking nearby ATMs with the live global Bitcoin ATM map. By using this service, you are able to access these benefits:

  • Find Bitcoin ATM map
  • Locate and pinpoint Bitcoin ATMs/machines that are close to wherever you are
  • Get all the details you need about that ATM, such as fees, limits, Buy Only, Sell Only, Buy/Sell, etc.
  • Receive directions from your location to the ATM you want to go to

In order to find a Bitcoin ATM, you will have to go to the main website. There, you will find a live ATM map that features a term filter and informative pop-ups for each ATM. Here is how you use it:

  1. Add your location/city and then click “Enter” to begin the search.
  2. Select the nearest ATM before clicking on it to see the details.
  3. Click “Get directions” in order to get the Google Maps location and directions.

There are a handful of ways that you can utilize this service to track down the nearest Bitcoin ATM. This, however, is probably the most straightforward of ways to locate them.


This next portion of the guide will explain how exactly we use Bitcoin ATMs. Buying/Selling bitcoins by way of an ATM can often be a confusing procedure. This is mostly because there are an array of Bitcoin ATM types. Below are the ATM types that are largely available in the market:

  • BATM2 Bitcoin ATM
  • BATM3 Bitcoin ATM
  • BitAccess Bitcoin ATM – BitAccess ATMs offer 2-way functionality in a form factor that’s similar to conventional ATMs. They also have configurable AML/KYC systems that the operator can determine.
  • BitXatm Bitcoin machine
  • Genesis1 Bitcoin ATM
  • Lamassu Bitcoin ATM – Lamassu was initially a 1-way machine that has an add-on base. This extends the functionality to effectively being 2-way. Many cite this particular system for its clean design and elementary usage.
  • Lamassu with Santo Tirso
  • Robocoin kiosk
  • Satoshi1 Bitcoin ATM
  • Satoshi2 Bitcoin ATM
  • Skyhook bitcoin machine – Skyhook is an open-source commercial 1-way Bitcoin ATM for that is suitable for everyone.

Here are step-by-step instructions about how to buy/sell with the following three of the most common types of Bitcoin ATMs: Genesis1, Lamassu, and BitAccess.

Buying bitcoins by using Genesis1 Bitcoin ATMs

  1. Click the “Buy Bitcoin” option.
  2. Choose the coin type you want to purchase (ex. Bitcoin).
  3. Click “Scan QR.”
  4. Scan the QR code of the wallet.
  5. Insert cash bills.
  6. Press the “Finish” option.
  7. Take the printed receipt.

Selling bitcoins by using Genesis1 Bitcoin ATMs

  1. Select the “Withdraw cash” option.
  2. Choose Bitcoin.
  3. Select the amount that you want to withdraw.
  4. Send the bitcoins to the given address QR code from your mobile wallet.
  5. Collect the cash.

Buying bitcoins by using Lamassu Bitcoin ATMs

  1. Scan your Bitcoin address.
  2. Insert the fiat cash bills.
  3. Click the “send Bitcoins” option.

Buying bitcoins using BitAccess Bitcoin ATMs

  1. Click the “Start” option.
  2. Enter in your phone number and then click “Proceed.”
  3. Enter the verification code that your mobile number receives.
  4. Scan the QR code of the Bitcoin address on which you want to obtain your bitcoins.
  5. Enter the fiat cash bill(s) before proceeding.
  6. Your coins will eventually be sent to your Bitcoin address.

Exchangeable currencies

There are a variety of cryptocurrencies that you can exchange in Bitcoin ATMs. Operations pertaining to Bitcoin are achievable on pretty much all Bitcoin ATMs. However, there are hundreds of machines that deal with altcoins. Others include Litecoin, Dash, Ether, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Zcash.


One last important thing to note about these ATMs is that some may need you to scan your ID documents. Furthermore, it may also inquire about your phone number strictly for KYC purposes. Be that as it may, this usually only happens when the bitcoins you’re purchasing are of a large quantity.

Overall, assuming you are able to find one close to you, Bitcoin ATMs are an easy and beneficial way of transacting your bitcoins.

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