How to use Bitcoin ATM: Step by Step

A bitcoin ATM is an Internet enabled machine that allows users to exchange bitcoins and cash. Unlike traditional ATMs, a bitcoin ATM allows bi-directional functionality. Bi-directional functionality means that a user can insert cash inside the ATM and get bitcoins or use the machine to exchange bitcoins for cash.

Unique Features

Bitcoin ATM machines may resemble a traditional auto teller machine, but they are very unique in how they work. The following are some of these unique features:

– A bitcoin ATM must be connected to the Internet.
– The machine connects users to a bitcoin exchange platform instead of a bank.
– They generally charge higher transaction fees.
– Bitcoin ATMs have limited deposit and withdrawal rates.
Buying bitcoins at an ATM is Generally Easy

Buying bitcoins at a bitcoin ATM machine follows the same procedure wherever you go. There may be slight differences in how different machines work, but it’s never a complicated process. Generally, most machines ask you to verify your details by accepting an SMS code sent to your mobile device. You then provide a bitcoin address, insert cash notes and confirm the operation. The bitcoins are sent to your bitcoin wallet or a public address is sent to your email address immediately.

How bitcoin ATMs Work

In some way, a bitcoin ATM is a more expensive version of the auto teller machine. It’s the same vending machine with extra features and more complex software. The first bitcoin ATM was used on October 29, 2013, in Vancouver Canada. The ATM belonged to Robocoin, a company that would later cease its operations in 2016. The first bitcoin ATM in the USA was located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Over the years, the manufacture of bitcoin ATMs increased. The pioneering machines only facilitated the exchange of bitcoins and no other digital currencies. Some only accepted the purchase of bitcoins but not the selling process. New bitcoin ATMs that accepted a variety of cryptocurrencies joined the market in 2014 and 2015.

Popular bitcoin ATM Machines

There are more than 1000 bitcoin ATM machines around the world. Here several bitcoin ATMs and how they work:

– General machines – these machines are uncomplicated and allow you to buy bitcoins after a simple verification process.
– Genesis machines– Genesis is a US based company that manufactures bitcoin machines that accept all major cryptocurrencies.
– One way ATMS – a one way bitcoin ATM machine is designed to only help you buy bitcoins and not to sell them.
– Lamassu – small and compact, these brand name machines offers a much simpler way to buy bitcoins. You simply scan your QR code and insert cash into the machine before authorizing the transaction. Many Lamassu machines do not print receipts though. Have you wallet address ready when using a Lamassu.
– Anonymous user bitcoin ATMs – some machines such as General Bytes BATMTwo allow users to skip the user verification step. Note that deposit limits can be low for anonymous users.
– Bidirectional ATM machines – the new breed of bitcoin ATMs allow users to sell and buy bitcoins in a quick and easy manner.
How to use a bitcoin ATM Machine (Step by Step)

1. Locate a bitcoin ATM machine in your city.
2. Decide whether to sell or buy bitcoins.
3. Carry cash if you wish to buy bitcoins.
4. Carry your bitcoin wallet as well.
5. Access the ATM machine and launch the process.
6. Select whether you want to buy or sell coins.
7. To buy, verify your details and select how many much money you wish to spend on bitcoins.
8. Print a QR code if you don’t have one or scan your own QR code.
9. Insert cash.
10. Confirm that you wish to buy bitcoins.
11. Print a receipt.
Watch this video for a clearer understanding of how the complete process works.


With a modern bitcoin ATM machine, buying bitcoins is quick and easy. Most modern bitcoin ATMs have a standard size, high definition screens. They are easy to follow through and you could buy bitcoins in less than five minutes. Unfortunately, new technologies meant to replace bitcoin ATM machines are being invented every year. Soon, you could buy bitcoins as an option in the traditional ATM machines owned by banks.

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