Have you ever walked into a shopping mall or gas station and saw a funny looking ATM? What you probably saw was a Crypto or Bitcoin ATM, a new type of ATM which provides customers an easy and quick way to buy cryptocurrencies with cash or credit card on the go.
Unlike conventional ATMs, where you can withdraw fiat currencies like USD or EUR from your bank account or credit card, crypto ATMs work more like a stationary exchange where you can anonymously exchange fiat for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
According to CoinATMRadar, there are currently a total of 3423 Bitcoin ATMs in the world A total of 1.301 were added in 2018 alone and a surprising figure of 6,5 Bitcoin ATMs are added daily. Crypto ATMs can be found in 71 countries worldwide, but there is a very strong concentration in North America (61%).
That might seem like a lot of, but to put things in perspective, according to ATMIA there are more than 3.5 million fiat currency ATMs throughout the world. Regardless, we believe that we will see more and more crypto ATMs popping up in every part of the world in the (near) future.
Graph source: CoinATMRadar.com
How to Find a Crypto ATM?
The easiest way to find a Bitcoin ATM near you is by using the aforementioned Coin ATM Radar service, which offer the option of searching cryptocurrency ATMs by location.
Additionally, the site also provides you with fee, limit, type (buy/sell) and other useful information.
Buying Coins Through a Crypto ATM
Cryptocurrency ATMs come equipped with step-by-step instruction which make buying and withdrawing crypto a breeze. An essential pre-requisite for buying cryptocurrencies at ATMs is a paper or virtual wallet for storing your just bought crypto. We recommend using a smartphone app for the first deposit from the ATM and afterwards moving your funds to cold storage or an exchange (if you plan to trade for another cryptocurrency immediately).
Simply select the amount of Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies you want to buy on the ATMs user interface, input your wallet address (we suggest using the QR code scanner on the ATM to minimize input errors), pay the amount either by depositing cash or inserting your debit/credit card and confirm the purchase. You should recieve your crypto on the entered wallet address once the transaction is confirmed on the blockchain.
Some ATMs might require you to scan your ID documentation and ask for your telephone number for security purpouses, but this is usually only required when buying a larger number of cryptocurrencies.
Types of Crypto ATMs
Most crypto ATMs are specialized to allow you to buy Bitcoin, while some also offer you the option to buy a wider array of coins and may support cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum (ETH) and Monero (XMR)
While most ATMs are called »one-way« ATMs, which means you can only buy Bitcoin or cryptocurrencies, there are some that also offer the option to sell your Cryptocurrencies directly at the ATM. These types are called »two-way« ATMs.
The convenience and anonymity offered by cryptocurrency ATMs comes at a price. The average buy fee on Bitcoin ATMs is 9,46 % and the average sell order for you crypto at the ATM will cost you, on average, an additional 8,06 % over market price.