So, you’ve chosen to start investing in Bitcoin. Welcome to the wonderful world of cryptocurrency!
If you’ve started investing in cryptocurrency, you’re probably wondering how exactly you can use it. After all, it’s not like regular cash where you can just go to the ATM and get money, right? Wrong!
As a matter of fact, Bitcoin ATMs are becoming more and more common. They’re an excellent way for people who invest in Bitcoin to get fast access to their money and start using it for transactions. So let’s take a look at where to find a local Bitcoin ATM and how to use one.
What is a Bitcoin ATM?
Before we get straight to work Googling “Bitcoin ATM near me,” let’s talk about what a Bitcoin ATM actually is. After all, it’s not much use knowing where to find one if you don’t see how it works!
A Bitcoin ATM is just like any other automated teller machine. It’s an ATM used to deposit or withdraw money from a bank account. Traditional ATMs take your cash and place it directly into your bank.
With a Bitcoin ATM, however, your cash gets converted into Bitcoin. From there, the Bitcoin goes straight to your Bitcoin wallet. Or, you can sell your current Bitcoin for cash. You can also sometimes use the ATM to purchase altcoins such as bitcoin cash or Bitcoin gold.
What Types of Bitcoin ATMs Are There?
Unlike regular ATMs, there are actually several different types of Bitcoin ATMs. The kind of ATM that you choose to use will depend on what you need to do.
Bitcoin to Fiat ATMs
Bitcoin to fiat ATMs are the most common ATMs. These are machines that allow you to convert your BTC into traditional currencies. This type of ATM is advantageous because it gives you fast access to money tied up in Bitcoin.
Many vendors have begun to accept Bitcoin, but there are still plenty of businesses that don’t. For example, a Bitcoin ATM saves you from logging onto a Bitcoin exchange and withdrawing the money. Instead, you can convert your BTC straight to cash.
ATMs for Purchasing Bitcoin
Another type of ATM for Bitcoin is one that allows you actually to purchase Bitcoin. For example, you can insert your cash into the machine and use it to buy Bitcoin, helping build up your BTC wallet.
Bitcoin ATMs make for great alternatives for adding to your BTC stash without having to go online. In other words, it works like a physical station where you’re able to buy Bitcoin.
ATMs With Dual Functionality
The rarest type of ATM is one that lets you both buy and sell Bitcoin. These are great options for people traveling overseas because it allows them to get access to their cash no matter where they are.
Some of these ATMs will also accept unique Bitcoin debit cards. That way, you’re able to withdraw cash even more quickly than by selling your Bitcoin through the ATM.
Why It’s a Good Idea to Use Bitcoin ATMs
Bitcoin ATMs provide users with many different benefits. That’s why they’re quickly becoming a popular addition to grocery stores and other public spaces. If you have a cryptocurrency wallet, using a Bitcoin ATM can be a huge help and give you several critical advantages.
They’re More Convenient Than Online Exchanges
Let’s face it, getting your money on an online exchange is not easy. Some exchanges require users to wait long periods before the transactions can be verified. That means they’re stuck without access to their money, sometimes for weeks at a time.
When you use a Bitcoin ATM, however, you get immediate access to your cash. You’re also able, in some cases, to use your wallet to reserve some money at a specific ATM so that you know it’s ready for you when you get there.
They Offer More Support Than Other Options
The world of cryptocurrency is still relatively new. And, because it’s an unregulated space, it can be challenging to get answers when you need them.
When you use a Bitcoin ATM, however, you have the support of the ATM’s host to help you out. These machines offer customer support that can help you make sure you’re using the device correctly. In addition, they can help troubleshoot any issues during your transaction on the spot.
They Increase Privacy
When you use an online exchange to buy and sell Bitcoin, you’re often required to enter personal information. This information could include confidential bank account information or it could be debit and credit card information.
A Bitcoin ATM, however, removes this step. Instead, you’re able to purchase and sell BTC without having to put in much detail. Most ATMs require minimal data so that you can maintain your privacy.
They’re More Secure
There are so many different wallets out there that Bitcoin users can use. And, with Bitcoin ATMs, you’re able to connect any wallet you like so that you can access your money no matter which wallet you prefer.
Several Bitcoin ATMs offer their wallets. You can check these out ahead of time, or you can use whatever wallet you prefer. Either way, you’ll still be able to access the ATM and get the Bitcoin or cash you need.
They’re More Trustworthy
Companies such as our team at Byte Federal have been around for years. That means that they’ve managed to improve their security, privacy features, and technology for an enhanced user experience.
Because good companies back them, you know you can trust the machinery. They’re much faster and safer than going online and using an exchange, and you know that a third party backs your transactions.
How to Find a Local Bitcoin ATM
Now that you understand the many benefits of using a local Bitcoin ATM, it’s time to go about actually locating one. The good news is that although these are relatively new technology, they’re relatively easy to find.
Before you can find a Bitcoin ATM, you need to make sure that you’ve got a wallet set up. Your wallet is what allows you to buy, sell, and store your Bitcoin.
Once you have a wallet, you need to find the public address in the application. (Often a QR code.) It’s also important to note that the public address will vary depending on which currency you’re using. So make sure you have all the addresses that you need before heading to the ATM.
Now that you have your wallet and your public address, all you have to do is head to the ATM! Several sites will help you locate an ATM. First, you need to put your zip code or address into the search bar, and the map will populate with pins pointing out ATM locations.
You can view more information about the ATMs by clicking on the pins to show you the fee schedules and user ratings. Plus, using a verified ATM locator site helps you ensure that you’re not using a fake ATM designed to steal your BTC.
What to Bring to the Bitcoin ATM
So, you’ve got your wallet, and you’ve found the nearest ATM. It’s time to head out the door and start depositing or withdrawing cryptocurrency. But wait! Before you walk out the front door, you need to make sure that you bring a few items with you.
That’s because there are several things you need to be able to use the ATM. If you don’t have them handy, you won’t be able to complete your transaction.
A Photo ID
To verify your identity, you’ll need a photo ID. Typically a driver’s license is used, but a passport or state-issued ID will be acceptable, too.
If someone approaches you and offers to help you or to accept a debit card payment, beware! They’re most likely operating a BTC scam. To help ensure privacy and security, most reputable Bitcoin ATMs will only accept cash.
Your smartphone is what holds your virtual wallet. Without your wallet or the corresponding QR code, you’re not going to be able to use the ATM. The good news is that you can download several different crypto wallets for free on the App Store or Google Play.
How to Use a Local Bitcoin ATM
Now that you’ve got everything you need and you’re standing in front of a Bitcoin ATM, it’s time to get started! The machinery works in a reasonably straightforward manner.
First, you’ll notice that there’s a touchscreen that lets you know how to carry out the sale or purchase. It also allows you to understand the current exchange price, which can be a great reference point if you get confused during the transaction.
Below or to the side of the touchscreen, you’ll see two slots. These are for receiving or depositing your fiat money. There is also a printer for a receipt and a QR scanner where you will scan your wallet.
To get started, you’re going to tap on the touchscreen. Then, you’ll either select “buy” or “sell,” depending on what type of transaction you want to complete. Remember, not all ATMs offer both features, so you’ll want to make sure that your ATM of choice provides the service you need.
From there, you’ll need to open your wallet app on your phone. Then, pull up the QR code and place it underneath the scanner. The ATM now knows where to send the Bitcoin you buy or where to withdraw the Bitcoin you sell.
Before taking any more steps, double-check the address. It should show up on the machine’s screen so that you can verify against what shows in your wallet app.
Next, you’ll be able to insert your cash. Or, if you’re selling Bitcoin, you’ll be able to choose how much bitcoin you’d like to sell. From there, you’ll set your miner fee. The more you are willing to pay, the faster the confirmation.
You wrap up the transaction by accepting the sale or purchase of your Bitcoin. The machine will print a receipt. Make sure to save this to reference it, just in case you run into any issues.
Next Steps After Your Bitcoin Purchase
After you’ve purchased your Bitcoin, you’re able to track the progress. All you need is your transaction ID and a reliable block explorer. After that, your transaction will go through a series of confirmations, usually 15 or fewer.
Then, when all the confirmations are complete, the Bitcoin will show up in your wallet. You’ll typically receive your first confirmation within the hour, although you may receive more.
Make sure to track your confirmations. If you haven’t received any after two hours, there’s a chance something has gone wrong. If this happens, you’ll want to reference your receipt and call the manufacturer of the Bitcoin ATM that you’re using.
Closing Thoughts on Local Bitcoin ATMs
Using a local bitcoin ATM is an excellent way of getting fast access to money that’s tied up in your cryptocurrencies. Or, it can be a quick way of purchasing more Bitcoin with cash.
If you’re looking for a Bitcoin ATM, Byte Federal has some of the best in the country. Contact us, and we’ll help you locate a local Bitcoin ATM in your area. Or, if you’re interested in hosting an ATM, give us a call, and we’ll happily assist with that too!