Depending on where you are, and of course, depending on how familiar you are with cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin ATMs can be either very familiar or alien to you.
These devices visually resemble ordinary terminals, but they work with digital currencies, which is why they are called Crypto ATMs or Bitcoin ATMs. A Bitcoin ATM looks like a regular ATM, but instead of dispensing fiat currency, it dispenses bitcoins. Some machines also allow you to sell bitcoin. All over the world, almost ¾ of machines only allow people to buy bitcoin.
Throughout 2020, amid growing community interest in digital currencies, the number of bitcoin ATMs has grown at an incredible pace. By November 2020, their number was approaching 12,000, but at the beginning of the year it was slightly above 6,000. Every hour a new machine is installed.
North America is the leader in this indicator – 87% of bitcoin ATMs are located in the United States or Canada. Next comes Europe, where 10% is located, in this region the UK is in the lead. Surprisingly, although Asia is the most famous “crypto hub in the world”, it contains less than 1% of all Bitcoin ATMs. Most bitcoin ATMs in the region are located in Hong Kong.
If you can buy bitcoin online, why do people use a bitcoin ATM in the first place?
– Simple use and convenient
While you can buy bitcoin online, there are people, perhaps in the older generation, who are familiar with the traditional ways of using currency. A bitcoin ATM allows these people to buy some bitcoin without distracting them from their usual activities. It can also be very convenient for people traveling overseas, as people can simply use a bitcoin ATM to exchange for local fiat currency, instead of exchanging fiat money for fiat money, which can sometimes be quite inconvenient.
The main advantage of using a bitcoin ATM is the high transaction speed. Transactions can be done very quickly, in about 15 seconds, unlike online purchases, which – depending on where you buy – can require people to transfer funds from their bank accounts to a Bitcoin wallet or vice versa. This process can take a day or more.
Bitcoin ATMs are safe to use as they operate without intermediaries – only the machine manufacturer and the user. As with online bitcoin transactions, only the user knows the address of their bitcoin wallet, so as long as they are safe, the transaction will also be safe. Machines also provide anonymity, meaning that no trace is left after transactions.
In bitcoin ATMs, an identification process is not required, since all transactions are completely anonymous.
Most bitcoin ATMs are located in countries where there is financial inclusion, but these machines provide more financial options for people in countries where they cannot open a bank account.
There are several ways to find a Bitcoin ATM. But, the simplest of them is to open the coinatmradar.com website and select the “Countries” section. In this section, you can find your country, and find out where the bitcoin ATMs are located in your city.
There are two options for using Bitcoin ATMs – you can buy Bitcoin or sell it for cash.
It should be remembered that before you can buy bitcoin from an ATM or sell it for fiat currency, you will need to have a bitcoin wallet. On some machines, you can create it on site, while on others it may require pre-registration. While the principle may differ slightly between different ATMs, the general process for buying Bitcoin from an ATM is the same.
It is important to mention the fact that Bitcoin ATMs have high transaction fees. The average for buying bitcoins is approximately 8.5% and 5.5% for selling bitcoins for cash. Compared to online bitcoin transactions, these rates are significantly higher. Unlike conventional ATMs, Bitcoin ATMs generally charge a percentage of the transaction rather than a flat fee. This is partly due to the fact that these machines are only in the early stages of development, but as their number continues to grow around the world and competition between ATM makers increases, we hope the fees will decrease.