These days there are numerous ways to turn your bitcoins into cash. One way you can exactly do that is by using Bitcoin ATMs. A Bitcoin ATM allows people to buy bitcoin using cash or a debit card, some ATM’s even allow you to sell your bitcoins in exchange for cash. But why should you use an ATM rather than doing your transactions online?

Perks of a Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs would not continue to spread all over the world if it wasn’t convenient. Here are some of the best reasons why you should give it a go.

1. High Fees – Bitcoin ATMs are known for charging high transaction fees with an average of 8.93%, according to CBS News. Cryptocurrency ATM’s typically charge a percentage and not a flat fee, like regular bank ATMs. In 2016 traditional ATM’s reached a record high fee of $4.57. This goes to show that in the end, it’s up to you to weigh which would cost you more since traditional ATM fees tend to vary.

2. Location – Although there are a lot of Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the world there still aren’t enough of them, unlike traditional ATM machines. You can’t find one in every city or every street. However, Bitcoin ATMs are growing every single year so this problem may be eliminated in the near future.

3. Paper Wallet Risk – Paper wallets, in general, are very risky to have since they can easily get lost, damaged or stolen. Using ATMs with this option exposes you to these risks. You should only use paper wallets as a final resort if you don’t have your mobile device with you.

Also considering how long it may take to confirm bitcoin transaction through other methods, Bitcoin ATM are very convenient and fast.

Locating An ATM Near You

Excited to test bitcoin ATMs out? There are plenty of them available worldwide for you to try. According to statistica.com, there are 4,292 Bitcoin  ATMs worldwide as of February 2019. As of December last year, there are two big players in this scene and they are Genesis Coin and General Bytes. They hold 32.82% and 28.93% of the market share, respectively.

If you are asking yourself, well “how do I find bitcoin ATM near me?” “Is there even bitcoin ATM near where I live?”–To check if there is an available bitcoin ATM near you, you can use coinatmradar.com. This website allows you to locate nearby Bitcoin ATMs via a live worldwide map. It also gives you a lot of handy details to know as well, such as fees, limits, buy only, sells only, buy/sell and even directions from your location to the Bitcoin ATM that you choose.

How to Use a Bitcoin ATM?

If it is your first time to use a Bitcoin ATM you may find it quite overwhelming since there are about 30 different types of bitcoin ATMs. For now, we’ll first discuss the general way to buy bitcoins and after that, the two most common types of bitcoin ATM.

The General Process

  • Input and verify your phone number (not applicable for all Bitcoin ATMs).
  • Go to the deposit option and provide your bitcoin wallet address. You can choose to type it in manually (prone to error) or to scan it from your mobile phone using your wallet’s QR code.
  • Insert cash into the ATM.
  • Wait for the confirmation of your transaction.

Keep in mind that all Bitcoin ATMs work differently depending on the company that created it. Next, we’ll discuss the most popular type of ATM.

Genesis

This ATM was made by Genesis Coin, a San Diego based company. It is very similar to the traditional bank ATMs. It works both ways, it can be used to both buy and sell bitcoins. What makes this ATM unique is that it can support other cryptocurrencies as well. Specifically, it can support Litecoin, Dogecoin, Blackcoin, and XCurrency.

The process to buy bitcoin from a Genesis ATM:

  • Click “Buy Bitcoins”.
  • Provide a mobile number for verification.
  • Enter the verification code sent through SMS.
  • Scan fingerprint.
  • Select cryptocurrency.
  • Choose to scan a wallet (pre-defined) or generate new.
  • Scan wallet QR code if chosen.
  • Insert cash.
  • Press “Send”.
  • Get the printed receipt.

Compared to the general bitcoin ATM, Genesis takes security a step further by adding a fingerprint scanner. Genesis Coin ATMs are also pricier but offer increased functionality. Next, we’ll discuss their competitor, the Lamassu ATM.

Lamassu

This is the second mostly installed Bitcoin ATM in the world after Genesis Coin models. There are 453 of them installed worldwide.

The process to buy bitcoin from a Lamassu Bitcoin ATM:

  • Press “Start”.
  • Scan QR code of your pre-defined Bitcoin address.
  • Put cash into the machine.
  • Press “Send”.

What differentiates Lamassu from Genesis is that they position themselves as the cost-efficient choice. It is important to note that there is no paper wallet printer on this type of ATM. You need to have your digital wallet address ready either on your phone or printed on paper. Also, not all of them have verification steps like SMS verification. You need to find out what is the process based on your location, which you can search online.

The Downside

Now that you know the pros of using a bitcoin ATM, you should also know the cons.

High Fees

 Bitcoin ATMs are known for charging high transaction fees with an average of 8.93%, according to CBS News. Cryptocurrency ATM’s typically charge a percentage and not a flat fee, like regular bank ATMs. In 2016 traditional ATM’s reached a record high fee of $4.57. This goes to show that in the end, it’s up to you to weigh which would cost you more since traditional ATM fees tend to vary.

Location 

Although there are a lot of Bitcoin ATMs scattered around the world there still aren’t enough of them, unlike traditional ATM machines. You can’t find one in every city or every street. However, Bitcoin ATMs are growing every single year so this problem may be eliminated in the near future.

Paper Wallet Risk 

Paper wallets, in general, are very risky to have since they can easily get lost, damaged or stolen. Using ATMs with this option exposes you to these risks. You should only use paper wallets as a final resort if you don’t have your mobile device with you.

The Growing Industry

Bitcoin ATMs have come a long way, with the first one that started in Vancouver, Canada. Unfortunately, that one closed back in 2016. But like they say, “There’s always a rainbow after the rain”. That first public Bitcoin ATM paved the way for new ones to follow its suit and eventually, a lot took its place.

Bitcoin ATMs are a rapidly growing industry that has only been around for only a couple of years. But in that short time, it has proven its stance that it will definitely stick around for more years to come. Pretty soon all the existing inconvenience will no longer exist. If you happen to find one in your street one day, don’t be so surprised!

Don’t have any bitcoin to cash out? Here’s an easy way to get your hands on some, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXyLClAqbpA Do you have any ATM tips you want to share? Let us know in the comment section!