You must have heard about Bitcoin, but you may be unfamiliar with how Bitcoin ATMs work. A Bitcoin ATM is an internet-connected portal that enables people to buy Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
While conventional ATMs allow customers to withdraw and deposit cash, Bitcoin ATMs allow people to purchase and sell Bitcoin through cash. This article will walk you through the workings of a Bitcoin ATM to help you understand how to use one to your benefit.
What is a Bitcoin ATM?
Bitcoin ATMs, also known as BTMs, are automated teller machines that you can use to make transactions in Bitcoin. You can buy Bitcoins via cash as well as debit cards.
While a traditional ATM is connected to a bank, a Bitcoin ATM links you directly to a Bitcoin exchange or wallet. This gives you an easy way to buy Bitcoins in person. Currently, there are more than 14,000 Bitcoin ATMs operating across the globe.
Here are the main steps involved in buying Bitcoin from a BTM:
- First, you will need to verify your identity. The kind of personal information you will have to give out depends upon the machine and the operator. You may be required to reveal your phone number, so that a One Time Password (OTP) can be sent to your mobile phone.
- Key in the dollar amount for which you want to purchase Bitcoin and slip in currency notes into the deposit area one by one.
- If you don't have a Bitcoin wallet already, you can generate one through a BTM. In this case, you will receive a slip of paper with a QR code corresponding to your wallet address.
Do you want to convert your Bitcoin into cash? Here is how you can go about it:
- You are required to log in to your account and key in the amount of Bitcoin you want to sell along with the wallet address.
- The transaction would be validated by the Bitcoin network, known as blockchain.
- After the verification is complete, you will be able to withdraw cash. This typically takes longer than buying Bitcoin.
- The ATM operator is likely to charge a transaction fee, just like it would for buying Bitcoin. You would receive the cash amount after the deduction of the operator's fee and the miner's fee.
A Bitcoin ATM allows you to buy or sell Bitcoin almost instantly. Some BTMs have a feature that enables you to make an account on the spot. Cryptocurrency exchanges usually take several weeks to finalize a transaction, while Bitcoin ATMs are much faster.
Moreover, you can buy and sell Bitcoins anonymously using BTMs. Only you and the recipient would know about the exchange taking place. Your identity is protected and not shared with anyone. The security, privacy, and convenience of BTMs make them reliable and trustworthy machines.