Bitcoin ATMs are exactly what they sound like, but still, some people aren't sure how to use Bitcoin ATMs. They’re automated teller machines (ATMs) like you’d find at the bank. However, these stand-alone electronic kiosks allow you to buy and sell Bitcoin using cash. Some of these machines allow you to trade sell your Bitcoin for cash withdrawals while others only allow purchases.
Because they don’t connect to your bank account like a regular ATM, you must have a digital wallet to process the transaction. While there are BTMs all over the world, the majority of them are in the United States. Bitcoin Depot has one of the largest BTM networks in North America.
Bitcoin ATMs convert your cash to Bitcoin. They process transactions on the blockchain and then connect to your digital wallet to make the deposit.
Some (but not all) allow you to exchange your Bitcoin for a cash withdrawal. All you have to do is scan a QR code, choose how much Bitcoin you want to sell, and then retrieve your cash from the BTM.
Using a BTM requires your smartphone, a digital wallet, some verification information, and cash. Here’s how to do it:
First, you need a digital wallet. If you don’t already have one, you can set one up online with any provider you choose or download the Bitcoin Depot app for Android in the Google Play Store or IOS for iPhones and use the noncustodial wallet we provide.
This allows you to deposit the Bitcoin you purchase into your wallet once you complete your transaction.
If you are using the Bitcoin Depot app, all you have to do is open the Bitcoin Depot app on your phone and enter your location to find the Bitcoin Depot BTMs near you. You can also use a simple Google search or look at the BTM operator’s website. You can also search for Bitcoin Depot locations here.
No matter which operator’s BTM you use, you’ll have to verify your identity somehow. Most BTMs require a phone number at the very least, so they can send you a code. Some require further verification like a copy of your photo ID or your social security number depending on the size of the transaction.
Once you’ve verified your identity, you’ll provide your wallet address and complete your purchase. Some BTMs ask for your wallet information first while others will ask how much you want to purchase first. Either way, you’ll enter your wallet address and purchase information. Then you’ll deposit your cash into the BTM to cover the purchase amount.
Because everything happens on the blockchain, it could take a few minutes to process. Once it’s done, you’ll get a confirmation that your transaction is complete and your funds will appear in your wallet. The BTM may also provide a receipt.
This step varies depending on the operator. Some BTMs will print a voucher that you can redeem later while others simply put the funds straight into your wallet. Some may even require that you download a specific app to use in conjunction with the BTM.
No matter how it works, you always want to make sure you read the on-screen instructions at the BTM and follow them.
Most BTM operators prioritize safety above all, so it’s important to mention that if you’re going to purchase Bitcoin at one of these kiosks, you not only need to understand how it works, but you also need to know how to stay safe while doing it.
These machines are secure because their operators follow regulations [KE1] to ensure they’re compliant with the law. However, they process transactions on the blockchain, which also helps keep your information private with plenty of verification. And because the public ledger is immutable, your transaction is safe once completed.
Of course, you should always prioritize safety above all else when purchasing Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM. Remember, never share your private keys with anyone, and make sure you do your research on the BTM operator before using it.
While there are BTMs all over the world, most of them are in the US. Bitcoin Depot has one of the most extensive networks in North America. It’s easy to find a location by simply looking online or downloading the app. Most are located in shopping malls, gas stations, and other local shops.
Now that you know how easy it is to purchase Bitcoin, make your way to the closest Bitcoin Depot ATM and fill your wallet with Bitcoin!