How to Use a Bitcoin ATM: Your Questions Answered

How to Use a Bitcoin ATM Your Questions Answered, June 2021

Bitcoin’s rise in popularity has caused a lot of uptick in interest and has become a very attractive and interesting prospect to most folks.

In the early days of Bitcoin, the only way to acquire some would be to sign up on some obscure cryptocurrency exchange website that looked sketchy and you weren't sure if you were going to get your money's worth.

Nowadays there are a lot more options for buying cryptocurrency and Bitcoin especially. One such option you may have noticed are Bitcoin ATMs which are scattered all over the world.

These ATMs are usually found in gas stations, convenience stores and even banks and are usually very clearly labelled “Bitcoin ATM”. Today we are covering everything you need to know to use a Bitcoin ATM.

Using a Bitcoin ATM May seem daunting at first but it's rather simple and we will guide you through the process. The Bitcoin ATM allows you to use cash to buy Bitcoin and send it to a Bitcoin wallet of your choosing. 

Certain Bitcoin ATMs will also allow you to sell your Bitcoin for cash as well.  Alternatively, the wallet of your choice does not need to be your own, it just needs to be a valid Bitcoin wallet.

This allows you to send it anywhere and anyone you want you just need a smartphone. The process of moving money in and out of your account is almost identical to regular banking.

The bank account itself can be considered your wallet, and the bank access card can be seen as your wallet address.

Thinking of your bank Access pin as your private keys to your wallet address brings the system together and looks almost identical to everyday banking.


Before blindly heading out to a Bitcoin ATM we need to have a couple of things in place first to make sure our trip is successful.

Similar to real wallets where we keep our physical cash, we also need a digital wallet to store our cryptocurrency.

There are many solutions to store in your cryptocurrency and it can get rather in-depth.

I highly suggest checking out one of our articles about the best and safest ways to store your cryptocurrency to get a great understanding of the products and their purposes that are available to you. 

Digital Wallets

Digital wallets come in all sorts of forms and can be web-based, software-based, or physical hardware such as a Trezor One. There are many different case uses for each type of wallet so it’s important you get an understanding of which wallet will be right for you. 

Web-based Wallet

As is implied by the name, these wallets are accessed through internet browsers.

The private keys to these accounts are held in the web Wallace themselves and are prone to DDOS attacks. 

This is the least secure way to store your cryptocurrency, however it is still better than having a completely unsecured account.  

These types of walnuts are best used for small Investments and quick transactions.

Software Wallets

These software programs are installed on your operating system and you're starting to become a more serious and viable way to store your cryptocurrency. 

Antivirus and malware protection is highly recommended when using the software on any system connected to the internet.  

Just as with web-based wallets, software wallets are prone to hacking attacks because they are constantly connected to the web.

 It is possible to add a layer of security to software wallets by installing them on a completely clean system that is not connected to the internet at all.  

The software Wallace themselves are very easy to use, are anonymous, and don't involve any third parties. 

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are by far the safest method of storing your cryptocurrencies.

These are specially designed microcomputers or USB flash drives that handle public and private address keys. 

They do not have any batteries in them but are run by simply connecting them to the USB of any PC.

The added benefit of these Hardware wallets is that they are even able to be used on a completely infected computer. 

Although the price tag is a lot higher than the alternative options being priced at between 70 to $150, the security they offer is unparalleled.

This is the best and safest choice for storing your cryptocurrency and you should be striving to make this your primary form of storage. 

Private Key

Once you have set up your wallet and are sure you have easy and secure access to it you need to know your private keys.

These keys are essentially the master key to your account and usually come as a long string of alphanumeric characters.

There are two options you can use, one is to use the long string of characters and the other is to download a QR code that carries your wallets information.

Be sure to guard your private keys as you would your bank pin or better. 


Now that your wallet is all set up, and you are aware of and in possession of your private keys, it's time to head out to the Bitcoin ATM.

Finding your local Bitcoin ATM should not be too difficult a task as there are over 20,000 Bitcoin ATMs worldwide.

If you have not seen one in your area recently you can use a search website such as to help you find exactly what you are looking for. 

Types Of Coins Available

Most Bitcoin ATMs obviously buy and sell Bitcoin, however, some of them offer all coins as well.  Some of the major altcoins are available to be purchased through ATMs as well, these coins include Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Dash, and Litecoin.

While Bitcoin is the current King of the crypto market, there are many altcoins pushing forward, with Ethereum leading the charge and quickly gaining massive popularity.

It is safe to say though that staying with Bitcoin is still a wise choice as the bulk of the market cap still belongs to Bitcoin.

How To Buy Bitcoin At The ATM

Step 1: You have to first create an account with the Bitcoin ATM operator,  in order to establish your identity.

Step 2: You need to have your Bitcoin wallet ready to go which can easily be done using a downloadable app on your smartphone. 

Step 3: Put the desired amount of cash into the ATM and indicate which Bitcoin wallet address you want to send it to. 

Please pay careful attention to the wallet address and ensure that it is your own because once you send the money there is no way to get it back.  

Once you approve the wallet address the Bitcoin ATM operator then sells you that amount of value in Bitcoin minus any operating costs or miner fees.

Step 4: All that's left is a confirmation that your Bitcoin wallet now holds a secure record of this transaction proving that you own a set amount of money in Bitcoin.

How To Sell Bitcoin At the ATM

Step 1: If you don't already have an account with a Bitcoin ATM operator you will need to create one for this process as well.

Step 2: Using the Bitcoin ATM kiosk you log into your account to indicate how much Bitcoin you want to cell and which wallet address you want to sell from. Again pay careful attention to choosing the right wallet as once the decision is made it is impossible to turn back.

Step 3: Once the transaction has been verified on the Bitcoin Network you will receive a notification and you will be able to withdraw your cash. This process takes a little longer than buying Bitcoin and different operators require different amounts of time to process said transaction. 

How To Send Money To Somebody Using A Bitcoin ATM

Similarly to when buying Bitcoin,  sending money to somebody else is a very similar process. These ATMs function well to send Bitcoin to other people as well. 

So in order to do this, you will also need to have an account set up with the Bitcoin ATM operator and deposit the amount of money you wish to buy as usual.  

Once you have done this make sure to choose the appropriate wallet address of the person you wish to send it to.

Once the transaction is verified and completed the person you wanted to send money to will now have that amount of money in Bitcoin on their account minus any processing fees.

Extra Knowledge

When it comes to Bitcoins in cryptocurrencies there are always thousands of questions, and that's not surprising in the least, it's a confusing subject.

In this section, I'm going to try and answer some of the more frequent questions that appear when it comes to bitcoin ATMs.

What Are The Limits?

Bitcoin ATMs can vary in how much you are allowed to buy and sell depending on the operator.  Typically the upper limits of buying Bitcoin are between 1000 to $4,000 per transaction but in certain cases can reach as high as $20,000 and up. 

What Can I Use To Buy Bitcoin?

Currently, the only way to buy Bitcoin at Bitcoin ATMs is to use cash.  Debit and Credit cards are not accepted. 

Buying Bitcoin in this manner is one of the more efficient ways to do it in person using cash. Most other options such as peer-to-peer exchanges require a credit card and ID verification. 

How Long Does It Take To Buy Bitcoin?

Buying and selling Bitcoin both take differing amounts of time. Buying Bitcoin is usually the quicker of the two processes, but even selling Bitcoin only takes several minutes to complete the transaction.

Am I Anonymous?

All Bitcoin transactions are recorded in the blockchain so there is always a record of your transaction, however, your name and identity are not associated with this information on the blockchain. 

The anonymity that comes with buying crypto through Bitcoin ATMs is one of its most appealing features to users.


The process of buying and selling Bitcoin is becoming simpler and easier to use for the average person every day. The process itself doesn't differ too greatly from what you would see in your everyday banking.

Yes of course the concepts are a little bit different,  but debit and credit cards were once a foreign idea to those who thought cash was always king and now cash is not even the most popular form of payment anymore. 

If you are interested in acquiring Bitcoin and getting a piece of the cryptocurrency action, while maintaining anonymity then using a Bitcoin ATM is the perfect solution for you. 

Be sure to be selective about which Bitcoin ATM operators you use as the cost of services can vary greatly and I can save you a lot of money.

Lastly, be sure that when you are purchasing Bitcoin that you always have access to the wallet you are storing it in, there have been too many cases of people losing access to their wallets and never regaining the Bitcoins they bought.

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