A Beginner’s Guide to How to Find and Use a Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) have seen a sharp increase in use across the world, but particularly in the USA. More and more people are learning how easy it is to find them and access cryptocurrency. The main reason behind this rise in popularity is that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies serve as effective alternatives to legacy currency, can serve as passive income, and are real assets with serious upside potential.

The History Of Bitcoin ATMs

A Bitcoin ATM operates as a physical exchange where you can purchase Bitcoin (and other major cryptocurrenciess). These BTMs are Unidirectional. However, there are also Bidirectional BTMs you can use to both buy and sell crypto. The first BTM opened in Vancouver, Canada, in 2013, but in the last couple of years, the number of BTMs available worldwide has exploded.

Because they are secure and KYC-compliant, Bitcoin ATMs offer advantages over other types of asset purchasing like peer-to-peer exchanges and centralized platforms. Unlike peer-to-peer exchanges, there is almost zero risk of being scammed when you use a BTM. Due to this security, there are a number of rules and regulations surrounding BTM use, including that BTM business owners need to have an MSB license to operate them.

How To Buy Bitcoin From An BTM: Set Up Your Wallet

Buying Bitcoin from an BTM is quite easy. The first step is to set up a Bitcoin wallet. Your Bitcoin wallet will have a unique identifier that you use to receive funds. There are thousands of online sites where, at the click of a button, you can create an account in less than a minute. Crypto Dispensers adds that you also need to remember to store your private key/wallet passcode, which is what allows you to recover access to your funds if the wallet provider malfunctions or you lose your username and passcode.

There are multiple choices in terms of Bitcoin wallets. You can get a hardware wallet like the Trezor, an online wallet like Blockchain.com, or a local wallet like Exodus. They will all generate your private keys and a unique wallet identifier for each type of cryptocurrency that you store.

How To Buy Bitcoin From An ATM: Find The BTM Machine

Once you have your Bitcoin wallet, you can check an online BTM directory like CoinATMRadar. These online directories list BTMs and their locations. To help customers find them, the vast majority of BTM operators list their machines on these online directories.

Alternatively, you can do a quick search for Bitcoin ATMs in your area. Much like legacy ATMs, they are typically located in urban centers like shopping malls and retail centers, where there is a lot of foot traffic as well as people making transactions.

How To Buy Bitcoin From An ATM: The Process

Purchasing cryptocurrencies slightly varies from machine to machine. It primarily depends on your state and the total amount you are transacting. It also depends on the BTM operator and the software selection that the manufacturer offers. Generally, however, the process is as follows:

  1. Input your transaction details: type of cryptocurrency, language, buy or sell, etc.
  2. Select the transaction amount.
  3. If above $900, take a scan of your government-issued ID.
  4. Paste your Bitcoin wallet address into the BTM screen.
  5. Insert cash into the machine.
  6. Wait 10 – 30 minutes for the funds to arrive in your wallet.

You can invest a relatively large amount daily without needing to undergo KYC procedures. Most modern BTMs have intuitive interfaces and a simple step-by-step process with easy prompts. You can also sell Bitcoin (BTC) to certain BTMs, which follows similar yet flip-flopped steps to buying crypto.

When you sell Bitcoin, you receive cash after you send the relevant amount of BTC to the machine. The funds are dispensed when the BTC arrives at the wallet address. Just remember to pay the correct network fees so that the BTC arrives quickly.


It’s free to create a wallet and simple to make a purchase from a Bitcoin ATM, as BTMs provide a transaction model that global residents are familiar with. The entire process can be done in 10 – 15 minutes and offers unparalleled safety and security in an industry beset with scams. Cryptocurrencies have made it so that investing has never been more accessible. Thanks to the increase of Bitcoin ATMs, your first investing step may only be one web search away.