How to Use Bitcoin ATM

Updated by Mike Lorente verified symbol on July 26, 2022

A lot of people have decided to enter the world of crypto because they believe in a cashless society where everything is done online. Credit cards can only do so much in this regard, but cryptocurrency can achieve a lot more and offer you freedom from major financial institutions. 

However, cash is still a big part of our world, which is why Bitcoin ATMs are vital for the crypto community. Plus, they offer a way to buy Bitcoin with real money without relying on credit cards or bank transfers. 

But how do you use one? There isn't a card you can just insert, right?

To help you put things into perspective, we have all the relevant information you need right here. We've prepared a detailed guide that will tell you what a Bitcoin ATM is and how to use it by following a thorough step-by-step process. We'll also explain the fees, how to sell bitcoins through a Bitcoin ATM, and more. So, buckle up, "hodl" tight, and let's begin.

What Is a Bitcoin ATM (BTM)?

A Bitcoin ATM or BTM is a kiosk or a machine, much like a standard ATM, that allows you to purchase bitcoins for physical cash. As most prominent crypto exchanges don't allow buying bitcoins for money, a BTM is practically the only way to avoid relying on your bank or some e-wallet to get a hold of this digital currency. 

BTMs are more convenient for buying bitcoins, as they offer a direct way to do it. On an exchange, you would first have to deposit money through a specific payment method and then use it to buy BTC. Plus, they're ideal for obtaining bitcoins you can later deposit freely on crypto gambling sites. While Bitcoin ATMs are mainly designed for bitcoins, some let you purchase a few other notable cryptos, like Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Tether, etc. 

Naturally, BTMs are not that accessible to everyone as you can't find them on every corner in all cities. That said, they are still popping up like crazy in countries like the US, UK, Canada, Australia, countries across Europe, Mexico, Argentina, Japan, El Salvador, and others. However, most of them are located in North America, specifically in the US and Canada.

Despite lower numbers in some areas, Bitcoin ATMs are still expanding rapidly and entering convenient locations like gas stations, smaller stores, etc. Some of them allow you to sell your bitcoins for cash. They also have specific minimums and maximums for purchasing cryptocurrency. Still, to give you a simple example, the minimums are not always as low as the funds you need for minimum deposit casinos

Moreover, the majority of manufacturers require you to set up an account with them to use their Bitcoin machines. Therefore, you might have to provide personal information, especially if you make larger transactions.

Does a Bitcoin ATM Work Like a Regular ATM?

No, they don't work like traditional ATMs, but they are similar in a more figurative sense. With a BTM, you need to deposit cash and purchase bitcoins through the ATM's user interface connected to the internet. Then the BTM will transfer those bitcoins through the blockchain to your Bitcoin wallet, which is usually done by scanning a QR code

It's quick and easy, accomplished using the current exchange rate, but it comes with fees you pay to the BTM's operator. The costs are typically higher than the ones you get on crypto exchanges, usually between 7% and 15%, while some can charge fees up to 25%

Types of Bitcoin ATMs

BTMs come in two forms — unidirectional and bi-directional. Let's briefly explain both, as you'll need to know the difference before using these machines. 

Unidirectional Bitcoin ATMs

Unidirectional Bitcoin ATMs are one-way BTMs that let you purchase a specific cryptocurrency.

Bi-directional Bitcoin ATMs

Unlike the former, bi-directional BTMs let you buy and sell cryptocurrency, as they are two-way machines. However, it's worth mentioning that only around 30% of all BTMs are bi-directional, while the rest typically only allow you to buy bitcoins.

What Do You Need to Have Before Using a Bitcoin ATM?

Besides enough cash to buy bitcoins, a crypto wallet is the most important thing you need to possess beforehand. It's also a prerequisite for buying bitcoins if you want to store the coins safely

You need to get one with a mobile app to transfer the bitcoins on the spot quickly. The best option is a good mobile wallet or a web-based one with a mobile app. 

Additionally, you'll have to check that the BTM company whose machine you'll be using supports your wallet. If it doesn't, you won't be able to send purchased bitcoins to it. 

How to Use a Bitcoin ATM in 8 Easy Steps

Now that you have everything you need and we've answered the most important questions, you're ready to start using Bitcoin ATM operators. Now, it's time to cover the whole process in eight easy steps. 

1. Find a Bitcoin ATM Near You

Start by looking for a BTM near you. If you don't know if there's one, you can use Coin ATM Radar and search for the exact type of BTM you need in your vicinity.

Just type in your location, and you'll get the closest cryptocurrency ATMs with specific addresses and information on fees and limits. 

2. Prepare Before You Go to the Bitcoin ATM

Before you actually go to the BTM, it would be good to complete a few tasks, so you don't have to do them on the spot. Obviously, you don't need to do this with every BTM, and you do it only the first time you use that specific manufacturer. 

We are, of course, talking about creating an account with them. 

  • Register an Account

Once you've chosen the BTM, check the owner. Then go to the official website and create an account. Follow the procedure and make sure you enter the correct information. 

  • Device and Code Confirmation

After you've created an account, you'll likely have to verify it through your device by using a code the manufacturer has sent you. It's pretty similar to what you need to do with other services that operate with money, including casinos with the best bitcoin slots

  • Identity Verification

You will likely have to confirm your identity, apart from verifying the account. Most governments require BTM manufacturers to implement regular Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures. They are pretty similar to those you have to go through with new casino sites. Once you're done, your account will be ready, and you'll get the option to use the manufacturer's crypto ATMs. 

  • Crypto Wallet Available

Before you start, once again, make sure your crypto wallet is ready for use. You don't want to waste time on it once you're in front of the Bitcoin ATM operator.

3. Account Set-up With Phone Number

Some BTMs require their users to complete the verification process with a phone number. If that's the case with the machine you're using, you'll receive an SMS with a code that you'll need to input. If you already have an account with the company behind the cryptocurrency ATM, you might be able to skip this part. 

4. Create a Pin Password

Some Bitcoin ATMs will also require you to create a PIN password to verify your account. Again, it's a way to ensure the right person uses the BTM. 

5. Scan Crypto Wallet QR Code

Now is the time for wallets, and if you have one ready, you'll only have to scan the QR code. This step ensures the BTM knows where to send the bitcoins you plan on buying. It's similar to what you would do in a BTC casino when making a deposit or withdrawal. 

However, make sure that this BTC ATM supports your wallet, as not all BTM companies accept all notable wallets. You'll likely be able to find this info online. 

6. Insert Cash Amount

The next step is to enter the amount of money you want to buy bitcoins. Similar to ticket machines for public transport or vending machines, there will be a designated receptacle for inserting cash.

Naturally, expect the machine to tell you exactly how much cash you need to prepare for the amount of BTC you want to buy. 

7. Confirm Transaction

Make sure you double-check that you've entered the correct information, specifically the amount of money and the wallet's address. Once you're sure everything is in order, you only need to confirm the transaction by clicking Buy or Confirm. 

Remember, when the transaction passes, there's no going back. Due to the nature of cryptocurrencies, you can't reverse this process. 

8. Grab Your Receipt

Don't forget to grab the receipt before you go, as it's proof that you've purchased that specific amount of BTC. Once you've confirmed the transaction, that's it. After that, you'll only have to wait for the money to reach you, which usually takes between ten minutes and an hour, as the Bitcoin network is relatively slow. If many people are trading on that day, it will likely take even longer. 

How to use Bitcoin, Buy, Sell, Trade

Sell and Send Bitcoin Via a Bitcoin ATM 

Some Bitcoin ATMs allow customers to sell and even send bitcoins. Both actions are relatively simple, similar to the buying process. When you have everything ready, you only need to follow the instructions on the ATM and choose the right options for selling or sending. Other than that, the procedure is pretty straightforward

It's worth mentioning that these transactions entail some charges as well. This is quite noticeable when selling bitcoins on the BTM, as you'll always receive a lower amount of money than the bitcoins are worth. Speaking of fees, let's explain those in detail. 

Bitcoin ATM Transaction Fees

When buying or selling bitcoins using any BTM, you always have to pay a fee. These costs typically include the miners' fee you need to pay for every bitcoin transaction. However, the most significant portion is the service fee for the BTM's manufacturers.

Unfortunately, these amounts are typically quite hefty and different from regular ATM costs. There is certainly nothing like crypto fees in international casinos with crypto deposits and withdrawals, where you often only have to pay the miners' fees.

BTM fees are usually between 7% and 15%, but as we've already mentioned earlier in the piece, they can be as high as 25%. In other words, it's good to look for a BTM with the lowest fees if you have that option because some might even go as low as 6%. 

Bitcoin ATMs Pros and Cons

You've already learned what you need to know about the advantages and disadvantages of using Bitcoin ATMs, but it's always good to get a quick overview of the pros and cons.

  • Fast and convenient way to buy BTC
  • Simpler verification than on exchanges
  • Easy way to buy BTC for cash
  • No need for bank accounts or cards
  • A convenient way to purchase bitcoins for people who don't use banks
  • Very high transaction fees
  • Not suitable for larger transactions due to BTM deposit and withdrawal limits

Other Cryptocurrencies Supported by Bitcoin ATMs

Even though typically created for bitcoin transactions, Bitcoin ATMs don't always limit themselves to this particular crypto. Some allow you to buy other cryptocurrencies. 

The tokens and coins you are likely to find at specific crypto ATM kiosks include:

  • Ethereum (ETH)
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
  • Litecoin (LTC)
  • Dash (DASH)
  • Monero (XMR)
  • Dogecoin (DOGE)
  • Zcash (ZEC)
  • Tether (USDT)
  • Ripple (XRP)

Our Opinion: Are Bitcoin ATMs Going to Be Widespread?

Some BTM manufacturers are looking into providing more features and giving people the opportunity to buy and sell bitcoin for cash. That's why bi-directional BTMs are becoming more common. 

As this is the most convenient way to get cash for bitcoins and vice versa, they will likely continue spreading across the world, despite their high fees. 

If they do, the fees will likely get lower as more and more companies decide to enter this lucrative market, which should get everyone to adjust their prices to stay competitive.

FAQ

Is it possible to withdraw cash from a Bitcoin ATM?

Yes, it is. However, you need to use a bi-directional BTM or one that allows exchanging BTC for cash, not only the other way around. 

How does a Bitcoin ATM work?

It's pretty simple. They are machines that enable users to buy or sell bitcoins for cash. They are made to look similar to regular ATMs but still have their own unique process you have to follow to purchase BTC.

Are there any fees for Bitcoin ATMs?

Yes, there are. Bitcoin ATMs charge quite high fees, mainly between 7% and 15%. 

Where to find a BTM?

Use services like Coin ATM Radar to find a BTM near you. 

How do I deposit money into a Bitcoin ATM?

Just follow the instructions for buying bitcoins, and when you reach the point where you need to deposit cash, insert the required amount in the corresponding receptacle.

How do I withdraw money from a Bitcoin ATM?

You only need to follow the instructions for selling bitcoins for cash, and the machine will pay you in cash once you've completed all the steps. 

Is there a limit to the transactions at a Bitcoin ATM?

Yes, Bitcoin ATMs have limits. On average, they are somewhere between $3,000 and $9,000 per day. 

When did the First Bitcoin ATM Open?

According to most sources, the world's first Bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver, Canada, on October 29, 2013. It was a machine from Robocoin, a company now known for one of the most advanced Bitcoin wallets.

Which country has the most Bitcoin ATMs?

The US has, by far, the most BTMs on the planet. More than 30,000 out of a total of 34,000 BTMs are located in the US, while more than 2,200 are in Canada. Third place goes to the only country that uses bitcoin as a legal tender, El Salvador, with 200 BTMs. 

Latest News View all

Global Poker: Fall Carnivall

September 26, 2022

Global Poker never ceases to amaze us! This time they are welcoming autumn in no other better way than with their first-ever Fall Carnival event that will go on from September 26th to October 2nd! Bear with us with this short article where we will explain anything you need to know about this fun event!

Read more

Global Poker: Micro Thunder Series V

September 09, 2022

Once again one of the top US and Canadian social poker casinos, Global Poker, will be hosting the legendary Micro Thunder Series for the fifth time! From September 11th to 18th you will be able to witness the madness where over 22,260,000 in Gold Coins and over 74,200 in Sweeps Coins are guaranteed in total prizes. Find out how you can participate with a small purchase and potentially win tremendous amounts.

Read more

Most Popular

100 Best Payout Online Slots

November 23, 2021

It is common for a gamer to want to know about the best slots to play. And this includes the ones that are the best for payouts. Of course, there are various developers operating today, creating entertaining, high-quality slot games with amazing payouts included. Therefore, we have put together a selection of the best payout online slots for you to experience and separated them into their respective developer sections.

Read more

Biggest Gambling Cities Across the Globe

August 13, 2021

Gambling is not something that is restricted to one specific area of the world. In fact, it is present in more countries than you may know, be that in an official way or a bit more of an underground format. Whatever the case may be, gambling has become an appealing pastime for many people all over the globe. So much so that various cities around the world have risen to obtain the status of being the biggest gambling locations today.

Read more

Euro 2020 Final Odds Italy vs England - Who Will Win It?

July 09, 2021

Italy and England will face each other on Sunday at Wembley in what has been an existing European Championship tournament. Hosted a year later due to the pandemic, the Euro 2020 will come to an end on Sunday at 3 pm, with the final taking place at Wembley. Is it coming home? Or is it coming to Rome? Let’s see what the bookmakers say.

Read more

How Do No-Risk Bonuses Work?

June 09, 2021

Let’s face it, most of us love a bonus. These are the joyous treats that keep us ticking and give us that little bit extra. Making us feel welcome at our favourite online casinos, or rewarding us for our loyalty. They come in all different shapes and sizes these days, as sites compete for our business.

Read more

Biggest Online Jackpot Wins of Last Year

March 26, 2021

It is always a momentous occasion when someone wins an online jackpot from a casino. And while many of us believe that they do not come around so frequently, several big winners were recorded in 2020. So, keep playing and you never know, you could be the very next person to claim a jackpot payout. Let’s have a look at the biggest online jackpot wins of 2020.

Read more

Bankroll Warriors Gets New Host for 2021

February 09, 2021 CasinoTopsOnline is re-launching its exciting slots and casino Twitch stream Bankroll Warriors with a brand new host for 2021. At different times in his life, Dreezy has been a professional poker player, gambler, esports bar owner, trucking business owner and Twitch streamer. Read more

£100 Deposit Bonus UK

February 07, 2021

UK online casinos that offer a £100 deposit bonus are quite common, especially as we see an increase in the number of online casinos, which results in greater competition between them - and better offers for players!

Read more

Bankroll Warriors is Back With HUGE NEWS

February 03, 2021

Bankroll Warriors is our hit casino podcast, offering you a look into the world of the best slot games online at the top casinos around. So get right for lights, camera, and spin! Whether you’re after discovering the best bonuses or just after some suggestions for a new game, our new all-star streamer team has got what you need.

Read more

5 Favourite Slots by European Players

December 01, 2020

Europe is a hotbed for casino gaming activity, and there’s little wonder. With locations like Monte Carlo, London and Malta all playing host to exciting casino escapades, it has quite the popular appeal for players. It is also due to this that many online casino slots have become popular in their own right with players from the continent. So, which ones can be considered the five favourites of European casino players? We’ve got a look at each of these and their inbuilt features below.

Read more

New Series of Podcasts by Our Very Own Bankroll Warriors!

November 12, 2020 Bankroll Warriors, better known as Jon Pardy and Drew Gonzalez, have teamed up with CasinoTopsOnline to provide viewers with a series of exciting, livestreamed games at the best online casinos. A combination of casinos hand-picked by experts and the professional play brought to you by the Warriors themselves will take casino livestreaming to a whole new level. Read more
Mike Lorente
Mike Lorente verified symbol Author
639 Articles gmail linkedin
Mike has worked as a freelance writer, focusing mostly on writing reviews and opinions on online casinos. In these past years, he has come to know in-depth how casinos operate and what to look for when choosing a casino. He is always happy to share new tips and strategies aimed to help you in your gaming journey. Based in Spain, Mike is a specialist in casino games and a master when it comes to online slot machines, sharing his strategies and tips on our website.
More about this author

Reviewed by Julia Attard, Senior Author