What Is a Crypto ATM?
Crypto automated teller machines (ATMs) are electronic kiosks that act as stand-alone units to allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency. For cash or by using a debit card, all crypto ATMs offer user the capability to purchase Bitcoin. Some also have the ability for other cryptocurrencies too. However, not every single one allows for sales of crypto–some only limiting themselvescrypto purchases.
Instead of connecting to your bank account like a traditional ATM, crypto ATMs interact with a user’s digital wallet to complete the transaction and send crypto to the customer. There are tens of thousands of crypto ATMs worldwide, with the majority of them located in the United States.
Crypto ATMs work by connecting to a cryptocurrency exchange and converting cash deposited into crypto. Transactions are conducted on the blockchain, which is a digital ledger of financial transactions for bitcoin. Using a crypto ATM entails connecting a user’s digital wallet (typically via a quick response [QR] code), depositing money, and transferring the purchased cryptocurrency directly to that wallet.
Many ATM users use a crypto exchange software that allows the redemption of a cash-issued voucher. This allows customers to deposit money, choose which cryptocurrency to purchase, and then print a voucher that may be scanned with a mobile app to redeem the voucher and deposit funds directly into their personal wallet.
Most crypto ATMs only dispense cash for crypto– you can buy digital currency, but not sell it. Some machines, however, allow two-way transactions so users can exchange cash for cryptocurrency and vice versa. Selling is just like buying: customers scan their digital wallet’s QR code to choose how much they want to unload, then receive the agreed-upon amount of paper bills from the machine once the trade processes.
There are several apps that track the location of crypto ATMs, with Coin ATM Radar being the most popular and reliable. Most Crypto ATMs are found in America, with a lesser number sprinkled throughout various other countries.
There are more than 34,000 crypto ATMs in the United States alone, as well as hundreds in Canada. There are numerous ATM providers with various services and features available on each.
Some of the disadvantages associated with cryptocurrency ATMs are listed below:
Crypto ATMs charge sky-high fees, sometimes even reaching 10% per transaction. In comparison, traditional cryptocurrency exchanges only charge 1% to 4%. Consequently, users will end up spending more if they use a crypto ATM.
Funds Not Insured
Some crypto exchanges provide custody services for crypto funds that come with anti-theft coverage, but crypto ATMs require you to put money into your own digital wallet. Self-custody is a secure way to safeguard your cryptocurrency assets, but there is no coverage against theft or loss.
Most crypto exchanges have set minimum and maximum transaction limits, generally between $10 and $10,000.
ATMs that only support cryptocurrencies are few and far between, and they may be difficult to reach.
A crypto ATM is an automated teller machine that accepts several digital currency payments, including Bitcoin. You’ll need a mobile phone, a phone number, a photo (optional), and access to a digital wallet in order to use one. While each crypto ATM vendor has its own set of instructions, the following are the typical actions required to use a crypto ATM:
- Sign up for a digital wallet. To complete a transaction, you’ll need to link your digital currency wallet to an ATM. You’ll have to set up a wallet before you buy cryptocurrency since they connect to your digital currency wallet to facilitate the transaction. There are many well-known online wallets, and some crypto ATMs even provide their own wallet software.
- Find a crypto ATM. Coin ATM Radar and a basic Google search can help you find cryptocurrency ATMs near you.
- Verify your identity. Some crypto ATMs will require more verification than just a phone number to identity you, such as a photo ID or Social Security Number.
- Scan your wallet. You’ll need to scan your wallet address in order to acquire Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency. Most virtual wallets include the option of displaying a QR code which can be scanned into the crypto ATM.
- Make a purchase. To buy crypto, select the currency you want to purchase, choose how much to pay, and complete the transaction. You will need to deposit cash or use another accepted payment method.
- Wait for the transaction to complete. After you deposit funds into a crypto ATM, the transaction will take place on the blockchain. Once the transaction is processed and confirmed, it is complete. You may also receive a receipt for the purchase from the ATM. Some ATMs offer printed vouchers that can be redeemed later, while others deposit funds directly into your wallet. Others may require downloading a specific application to use the ATM. Always read the instructions carefully before making any purchases at a crypto ATM.