Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, hit an all-time high of $68,000, spelling good news for BTC investors. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin has been all the rage for the past half-decade and is gaining popularity across the world.
Getting into bitcoin for the first time can be apprehensive. This is especially true if you’re completely blank about how cryptocurrencies work. The first thing you’ll probably have to do is use a bitcoin ATM to buy bitcoin.
Using a bitcoin ATM is extremely daunting if you don’t know the first thing about these ATMs. If you’re having trouble using your local bitcoin ATM, worry not; we’re here to help. Today’s post is the ultimate guide on how to use a bitcoin ATM.
What Is a Bitcoin ATM?
You’ve probably used an ATM machine hundreds of times. However, a bitcoin ATM is unlike your usual ATM, although it serves almost the same purpose. A bitcoin ATM is a machine that connects you to the bitcoin network and allows you to carry out transactions.
This ATM allows you to deposit cash into it and purchase bitcoin tokens. The premise is simple: you give the machine cash, and it gives you bitcoin tokens. Once you do so, you’ll get a redemption code that you can use to deposit bitcoin into your digital wallet.
A typical bitcoin ATM will have a QR scanner, a monitor, and a receipt printer. You can find these ATMs where you normally find ATMs, like in malls and other social areas. If you’re having trouble finding a bitcoin ATM, you can use an ATM locator to find one near you.
It’s worth noting that no financial institution runs these ATMs. That’s because Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies use a special technology known as blockchain technology. This eliminates the need for any organization or financial institution to oversee the ATMs.
The ATM connects to a bitcoin exchange portal that runs on the internet. It enables you to transact through this portal, so you can exchange cash for bitcoin.
How to Use a Bitcoin ATM
Now that you know what a bitcoin ATM is, let’s now move on to how to use it. Using a bitcoin ATM is easy and shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete your transaction. Here’s the right way to use a bitcoin ATM.
Find a Bitcoin ATM
The first step towards using a bitcoin ATM is finding one. There are tons of bitcoin ATM options for you to choose from. You need to find a bitcoin ATM with reasonable transaction fees to save your money.
As mentioned earlier, try using a bitcoin ATM locator to find bitcoin ATMs near you. Once you find a bitcoin ATM, you can move to the next step.
Verify Your Identity
You’ll need to verify your identity before carrying out any transaction with the bitcoin ATM. You can either use your national ID or enter your phone number and then a one-time password. Some sophisticated ATMs have fingerprint or palm scanners for identity verification.
Once it confirms your identity, you can now interact with the user interface. This is where the real action happens.
Decide Whether You’re Buying or Selling Bitcoin
Customers have the option of either buying or selling bitcoin via bitcoin ATMs. To buy bitcoins, you’ll have to pay cash to get bitcoin. To sell bitcoin, you’ll transfer bitcoin to the ATM and receive cash for it.
Check the Exchange Rate
Once you make a decision, the next step is to check the exchange rate. The exchange rate is like any other currency exchange rate. It shows you how much cash you’ll get from selling bitcoin and vice-versa.
It’s worth noting that this exchange rate is volatile and keeps changing. Keep an eye on bitcoin charts to buy bitcoin with lenient exchange rates.
Insert Your Cash and Confirm the Purchase
Now that you know the exchange rate, you have to decide how many bitcoins you want. Remember, you don’t have to buy an entire bitcoin because most people can’t afford to. Instead, you can buy a fraction of a bitcoin that meets your budget.
Ready your cash, and insert your bills into the receiver one by one. The monitor will show you how much cash you’ve inserted into the ATM and how many bitcoins you’ll receive. Once everything checks out, hit the button on the lower-right of the screen to verify your purchase.
It’s worth noting that most bitcoin ATMs can’t return any money you insert into them. As such, you need to be completely sure about how much you’re willing to spend on bitcoins. Once you verify the purchase, you can proceed to the next step.
If you’re selling bitcoin, the process takes a different route. To sell bitcoin, you’ll need to log into your digital wallet using your phone. Find the “sell bitcoin” option and then tap “scan QR.”
Align your phone’s camera to the QR code on the screen and let it scan the code. Once it does, the wallet app will fill out all the necessary information. Enter how many bitcoins you want to sell and hit send.
The ATM will dispense the cash to you instantaneously. Don’t forget to keep the receipt to verify your purchase.
Take the Receipt
At this stage, the ATM will print out a receipt, confirming your purchase or transaction. Keep this receipt safe because it contains the redemption code. Next, log into your digital wallet and enter the redemption code to transfer bitcoin into your digital wallet.
How Safe Are Bitcoin ATMs?
Naturally, you’ll be worried about whether inserting your cash into bitcoin ATMs is a smart move. There’s always the chance that the machine will swallow up your money and you’ll end up with nothing. So how safe are these bitcoin ATMs?
Cryptocurrency ATMs are generally safe, but not all of them. There are a few unscrupulous companies looking to swindle unsuspecting people out of their hard-earned cash. That’s why you need to be careful with the bitcoin ATM you choose to sell your bitcoin to.
Do a little background research before inserting your money into any bitcoin ATM. Is it a legitimate company? Are there any complaints or lawsuits by customers?
You’ll want to read a couple of online reviews before you settle on a bitcoin ATM. You can learn whether the ATM company is legit or whether they’re running a scam. We recommend dealing with popular names in the bitcoin ATM industry, like the company on this page.
Are Bitcoin ATMs Legal?
Some people associate bitcoin with plenty of illegal activity, and they’re not wrong. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are untraceable and are sometimes used for illegal dealing. This raises the question of the legality of bitcoin transactions.
You have nothing to worry about when transacting bitcoin because bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are perfectly legal. This means that bitcoin ATMs operate legally in their locations. However, there is a bit of regulation at both the state and federal levels for bitcoin ATMs.
This regulation is meant to filter out unscrupulous bitcoin ATM companies. All ATM companies must abide by the Bank Secrecy Act that’s implemented at the federal level. They must also register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.
At the state level, regulations vary from state to state. However, there are two bodies that oversee bitcoin ATM operations. These are the Money Transmitter License and the Money Service Business.
Benefits of Buying Bitcoin
You’ve probably heard of some people becoming overnight millionaires by investing in bitcoin. You’ve also heard that bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies are a worldwide scam initiated by the elite. This begs the question, “Is investing in bitcoin a good idea?’
While we can’t tell you for sure, here are a few benefits of bitcoin to help you make your decision.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pride themselves on being one of the safest transactional currencies available today. This is because of blockchain technology that makes it impossible to alter transactional records. Plus, it’s a digital currency, so you don’t have to worry about physical theft.
What’s more, all crypto wallets have a private key. Unless you have a private key, you can’t access the crypto wallet. However, if you lose your private key, you’ll be locked out of your crypto wallet.
This private key is a combination of numbers, much like a password. You must enter your private key to authorize any transactions or access to your crypto wallet.
All cryptocurrency transactions happen on a worldwide ledger that’s completely immutable. There are no hidden fees or backdoor transactions by financial companies. You can use special tools to view your transactions, but you can’t change them.
This transparency means you don’t have to worry about banks and financial institutions stealing your money. Plus, it makes it harder for criminals to carry out fraudulent transactions.
All cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, are available to transact all over the world. All you need is an internet-enabled smartphone or a PC, and you’re good to go. In fact, setting up a crypto wallet is a lot faster than setting up a bank account.
Bitcoin eliminates the middleman in its transactions. This makes it easier to buy, sell, or save bitcoin. You don’t even need to verify your ID to open a crypto wallet; talk about convenience.
Faster to Transact
Most people have tried at least once to send money to their friends or relatives abroad. If you have, you understand how dreadfully slow the process can be. Sometimes it can take up to a week to send money from one region to another.
With bitcoin and crypto wallets, you can send bitcoin to anyone, regardless of their location. The transaction will only take a few minutes, which is way faster than with normal currency.
Lower Transaction Costs
Banks and other financial institutions are notorious for taking advantage of their customers. Some banks have outrageous transaction costs that are downright unfair to the customer. Wiring money to someone here in the US can cost you up to $30.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, boasts very low transaction costs, especially when compared to financial institutions. Although bitcoin transaction costs sometimes surge, they’re still a lot cheaper compared to bank transaction costs.
As mentioned above, you don’t need to provide any proof of identity to open a crypto wallet. In fact, you can remain completely anonymous and still transact with bitcoin. This privacy is what makes bitcoin an excellent choice for people who like to keep a low profile.
The only downside to this privacy is that it gives criminals the leeway to carry out illegal transactions. However, if you’re a law-abiding citizen, you can use this privacy for your own personal reasons.
Bitcoins are an excellent way to diversify your asset portfolio. You can use bitcoin to step away from conventional financial assets like stocks and bonds. It’s a great way to spread risk when investing in multiple assets.
Think of it this way, when some of your assets plummet, bitcoin prices may soar. When bitcoin prices reduce, your assets may increase in value.
Protects Against Inflation
No currency in the world is immune from inflation, except, of course, cryptocurrency. Unlike normal currency, governments can’t create more cryptocurrencies as they please. Bitcoin has a hard cap on the number of bitcoins available at any given time.
This makes it safe from inflation, which greatly reduces the value of physical currencies. Bitcoin can act as a good hedge against inflation.
Using a Bitcoin ATM Made Easy
The information above should make using a bitcoin ATM a walk in the park. If you don’t have a crypto wallet yet, create one today! Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are the future of money.
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