Bitcoin ATMs: What Are They? How Do They Work?

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Technological advancements in the financial sector have increased the ease of access to digital currencies with Bitcoin ATMs. Crypto enthusiasts and investors can use Bitcoin automated teller machines (BTMs) to buy or sell digital assets.

BTMs eliminate the limits of online exchanges. This article dives into what Bitcoin ATMs are, their different types, how they work, and the best BTM to select for handling your crypto assets. We’ll discuss a step-by-step guide on how to use Bitcoin ATMs.

Key Takeaways

  • Bitcoin ATMs (BTMs) are electronic kiosks specifically designed for cryptocurrency transactions.
  • There are currently over 34,000 BTMs across the globe in 150+ countries.
  • Bitcoin ATMs operate through blockchain technology, ensuring transactions are recorded in a public ledger and sent to the user’s digital wallet.
  • Some Bitcoin ATMs support other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin, while others are limited to Bitcoin transactions.
  • All are suited to allow crypto transactions. Some are one-way, and others are bi-directional.
  • You need to provide a phone number for verification and, in some cases, a government-issued identification card to transact using a Bitcoin ATM.
  • Transaction fees for Bitcoin ATMs can range from 5% to 25%, depending on the operator and transaction amount.
  • Operators like CoinTime stand out based on the advantages offered over other companies such as low fees, 24/7 availability, user-friendly interface and security.

History of BTMs

Bitcoin ATMS have been around for over a decade, with the first appearance debuting on October 29, 2013, in Vancouver, Canada.

As the first Bitcoin ATM was established, it was clear that a new age of financial flexibility was being realized in the crypto realm.

An art work of a persone holding a phone next to a bicoin ATM machine
An art work of a person holding a phone next to a bitcoin ATM machine

BTMs have bridged the gap between the physical and digital spaces. They use a unique machine with user-friendly features.

As such, any beginner or expert in crypto can purchase or sell BTC. All you need is a few requirements, and you are good to go.

In 2019, the number of BTMs was as low as 5,000. However, this number now stands at over 34,000 BTMs following major events and digitalization awakening.

These machines are distributed across over 100+ countries worldwide as of January 29, 2024.

Line Graph Showing the number of bitcoin atms rate over time in united states

The United States  hosts 30,575 BTMs, while Canada has 2969 machines, according to

What are Bitcoin ATMs?

Bitcoin ATMs are electronic kiosks where crypto investors make financial transactions.  They are like the standard ATMs but deal with cryptocurrencies specifically.

Unlike fiat currency ATMs that connect to bank accounts, Bitcoin ATMs connect to digital wallets to allow transaction processing.  These Bitcoin ATMs are owned and operated by third-party organizations.

However, some also support other cryptocurrencies, while others are limited to purchase only.

How Do Bitcoin ATMs Work?

Bitcoin ATMs work just like traditional ATMs, but users use cash or a debit card to exchange fiat for Bitcoin or vice versa.

Despite their global reach, customers must have an account with the third-party operator to use these Bitcoin ATMs.

These Bitcoin ATMs use blockchain. They are part of the benefits and features of decentralized finance.

This means that transactions are not in bank statements. They are in the public ledger and sent to digital wallets. Moreover, this can be cold or hot crypto wallets.

Some BTMs use cryptocurrency exchange applications that facilitate voucher redemption for cash purchases.

Simply put, users can deposit funds and choose which digital asset to purchase.

Afterward, they can print a voucher that contains a QR code. This code is scanned using mobile apps that allow voucher redemption and direct fund deposits to the user’s digital wallet.

Transaction Types Supported by Crypto ATMs

There are two types of Bitcoin ATMs:

  • unidirectional
  • bi-directional.

Pi chart Showing the % of crypto ATMs that supports Buy or sell transactions in united states

Those supporting one-way transactions are called (unidirectional machines) limited to buying or selling BTC.

But those supporting two-way transactions (bi-directional) allows both the purchase and selling of crypto.

Depending on the transaction amount, some Bitcoin ATMs require users to provide a phone number reference to send verification messages.

Additionally, a government-issued identification card is used in the verification process.

It’s primarily essential to incorporate these regulations to ascertain security.

Trusted Bitcoin ATM Services Providers

When choosing the right Bitcoin ATM service provider from ATM locations, customer care, and OTC transactions, among others, you have to choose one that is reliable, has good credibility, and is secure.

The top options include CoinTime, CoinFlip, Genius Coin, Coin Cloud, BitAccess, and General Bytes.

1. CoinTime:

With availability in 150+ locations, CoinTime is one of the market’s most reputable cryptocurrency ATM service providers.

The organization has transparency, security, and customer satisfaction characteristics, distinguishing it from others in this sector.

Key Features of CoinTime Bitcoin ATM include:

  • User-Friendly Interface : CoinTime ATM interface has been specially designed to walk users, whether beginners or advanced, through the buying and selling process from beginning to end. This makes it straightforward to navigate.
  • Diverse Range of Cryptocurrencies: Furthermore, we offer Bitcoin ATM fiat money exchanges and accept a large support of other cryptocurrencies, including but not limited to Ethereum and Litecoin. This diversity of options allows users to look into various assets and invest in digital assets that they consider more interesting.
  • 24/7 Availability: Whether during the day, in the evening, or at night, CoinTime Bitcoin ATMs are designed to be always open. Thus, users can buy or sell cryptocurrency at any time that suits them.
  • Exceptional Customer Support: At CoinTime, we take pride in our customer support team’s friendliness and knowledge level. Users may communicate with customer support whenever they need to ask questions or address problems. They will receive answers within the shortest possible time, and help will be provided to the fullest extent. Additionally, you can access the premium OTC Bitcoin trading services for transactions above $10,000.

2. CoinFlip:

One of the best things about CoinFlip is its nationwide Bitcoin ATM network. CoinFlip has the largest Bitcoin ATM network in the US.

This makes it easy for clients to find machines with the best rates and a user-friendly interface. It also supports cryptos, including ETH, USDC, LTC, and USDT.

CoinFlip chargers are 15.99% for buying crypto and 4.99% for selling.

3. Genesis Coin:

Genius Coin is a reliable Bitcoin ATM provider in terms of international service provision.

It’s also a two-way (bi-directional) ATM that allows both the buying and selling of crypto. 

Genius1 ATMs only support three cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Dogecoin.

It also has a billing capacity of 2,200 note International Bill Acceptors.

4. Coin Cloud:

Coin Cloud crypto ATMs have been installed in over 4,500 locations and are considered among the fastest machines that deal with BTC and fiat currency exchange.

It offers financial services to the underbanked and the unbanked.

It offers financial solutions to a wide audience, regardless of financial position.

It’s also a two-way BTM that supports over 30+ cryptos.

5. BitAccess:

BitAccess was founded in 2013 as a Bitcoin ATM hardware and software provider.

It currently records over 7,000 kiosks worldwide and charges a 20% fee on their transactions.

BitAccess fully commits to security and data privacy and provides one-on-one operator support.

This provides the busiest Bitcoin ATM experience to users in many regions.

They offer instant wallets when you use their services.

6. General Bytes:

General Bytes has a total of 10,844 machines all over the globe, accounting for the largest share of BTMs in the market. 

General Bytes BTMs are equipped with a QR-code reader and a fingerprint scanner.

It also has a reach of over 120 countries worldwide.

Additionally, both software and hardware resources accommodate AML/KYC regulations.

Pi chart showing the % of crypto atm instructions by manufacturer in united states

How To Use CoinTime Bitcoin ATMs?

After locating the nearest Bitcoin ATM to your location through the CoinTime ATM website, here are the next steps you should follow to transact:

  1. CREATE A WALLET:  You’ll need a BTC wallet from a trusted party to store your Bitcoin assets. You can download it from your App Store on your mobile device.
  2. SIGN UP & VERIFY: Sign up for the CoinTime account through your mobile device by linking your phone number.
  3. INSERT CASH: Feed your wallet details and insert cash, debit, or credit card into the machine.
  4. WE SEND COINS: You will then need to confirm the amount you want to pay or the tokens you want to buy. Once the transaction is done, it will be reflected in your digital wallet. A purchase limit of $50,000 is imposed.

Associated Fees in Bitcoin ATM Transactions

Depending on the transaction amount and operator, Bitcoin ATM service fees can range from 5% to 25%. This is an average between $0,50 to $2.50.

Considering a 10% transaction fee, $500 will give you an equivalent $450 worth in BTC.

Additionally, these fees vary depending on the crypto you are transacting.

For example, Bitcoin transactions will cost more than Litecoin transactions.

Pros of Our Bitcoin ATMs

  • Suitable Fees: Our Bitcoin ATMs have market-beating and low fees. The fees ensure that you get a great deal when using our services.
  • High Service Availability: Our Bitcoin ATMs are plentiful. They are easy to locate near you. You’ll have easy access to funds anytime.
  • High Security: Our Bitcoin ATMs are convenient and secure. They are designed to protect your transactions and personal details from any vulnerabilities.
  • Anti-Theft Insurance: This leaves you carefree with the knowledge that your transactions are covered by the anti-theft insurance program, which will increase security and confidence.
  • Ease of Access: Our Bitcoin ATMs are self-serving and straightforward to use to the point that anyone navigating buying and selling bitcoins becomes a no-brainer.
  • Privacy: Shield your personal information and stay anonymous when doing cryptocurrency transactions at our ATMs, which will keep secret and safe information.
  • Ability to Sell Bitcoin: You don’t just need to buy Bitcoin from our ATMs; you can also sell Bitcoin for cash to meet whatever financial needs you may have, making it convenient and flexible.
  • Accessible 24/7: Whether weekday or weekend, daytime or night, we are always open 24/7, and our Bitcoin ATMs provide unmatchable accessibility and ease.
  • Customer Support: Our customer care, operated by specialists, is there to help you with any questions or problems arising during the purchase. This provides a smooth experience.
  • Fast Transactions: Service instant buying or selling Bitcoins through our Bitcoin ATMs eliminates the need to wait late in the queue of other banks.
  • Same-Day Execution: Take advantage of the instant Bitcoin transaction rights and immediately access funds and liquidity.

What to Avoid When Using BTMs

Buying or selling Bitcoin via a crypto ATM is convenient. However, you must be careful when making any digital currency transactions. Here are some tips and best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Choose reputable Bitcoin ATM operators: Try to find operators with smooth and secure performance records. Remember to check out online reviews and user feedback before using a novel Bitcoin ATM.
  2. Check fees and rates. It’s important to check the ATM operator’s fee and exchange rate before. This will help you avoid finding yourself in an uneconomical trap. Some ATMs have higher fees than others. ATM operators also have very different currency exchange rates.
  3. Protect your wallet and personal information. Do not share your Bitcoin wallet or sensitive details. Use strong passwords. Also, use two-factor authentication. These will fence off unauthorized access to your crypto wallet.
  4. Be aware of  bitcoin ATMs scams. Some scammers may ask you to send them Bitcoin or cash. They may also collect your details or key information. Every time, confirm the transaction details and the receipts to be sure you are sending the coins correctly to the right receiver.


– What do I need to use a Bitcoin ATM?

Whether you have to show identification or not shall depend on the operator.
Some BTMs may have to follow AML and KYC regulations.
To meet these rules, they must check user identities for transactions over a certain amount.

– Is it safe to buy Bitcoin through an ATM?

Indeed, purchasing Bitcoin via the ATM is secure, provided you abide by the relevant guidelines.
Check the ATM’s credibility and timely maintenance, pay attention to the transaction details, and avoid storing Bitcoins bought in the wallet, which is not protected from a hacker attack.

– How do Bitcoin ATMs work?

Bitcoin ATMs allow users to trade bitcoin with cash or pay with a credit/debit card.
The buyer should select the buy option on the ATM and insert the Bitcoin amount (in fiat currency) and wallet address.
This information is then sent to the central processor for confirmation via blockchain technology.
The BTM, in turn, will process the transaction, and the purchased bitcoins will be sent to the wallet address you provided.

–  How to use a Bitcoin ATM?

Using a Bitcoin ATM is straightforward: Using a Bitcoin ATM is straightforward:
– Push the “Buy Bitcoin” or “Buy Crypto” button on the ATM.
– Select the Bitcoin balance you wish to purchase.
– In the next step of your request, don’t forget to enter your Bitcoin wallet address.
– Please insert cash only or swipe your card for payment.
– Be patient, and the transaction will be executed. As a result, you will receive Bitcoins in your wallet.

– Do I need an ID to use a Bitcoin ATM?

Because most ATMs work with bank accounts or debit/credit cards, you should have your smartphone or paper wallet in hand, valid identification documents (like an ID card), and a reliable funding source (cash or card) on hand.

– How much does a Bitcoin ATM charge for $100?

The transaction commission amount for ATM Bitcoin differs for every operator and in special locations.

Generally, BTMs take a percentage proportional to the value of the transaction.

All down, the acceptance rate of the BTM itself is not always stable.

When buying Bitcoin by BTM, you can expect to pay a fee between 5% and 10%.

In this case, that would be an additional $5 – $10 for a $100 transaction to evaluate the cost of fees.

– Is a Bitcoin ATM legal?

Indeed, Bitcoin ATMs are deemed legal in most areas, but this can change with slight differences in regulations across areas.

Operators who buy BTMs have to watch these regulations so as not to the level of taxation eliminations and extra activities tracking, like money laundering and terrorism financing.

Awareness of the framework worldwide is vital before applying for participation.


Bitcoin ATMs take away the struggle of overcoming limitations experienced in online crypto exchanges.

Many benefits are enjoyed in using these crypto ATMs, including eliminating long transaction periods.

However, being cautious when transacting digital assets is vital to avoid scamming incidents.

If you need to buy or sell crypto, Bitcoin ATMs are the solution.

They are located worldwide and are fitted to serve both experienced and novice enthusiasts.

You’ll first need to locate a Bitcoin ATM in your region and proceed with your transaction. CoinTime offers the best Bitcoin ATM services.

They have low fees and 24-hour access to their services and support team, offering hassle-free services for transacting cryptocurrencies.

Ahmed Yousuf is a cryptocurrency content creator with over 6 years of experience. He combines his SEO expertise and crypto knowledge to write informative articles for both beginners and crypto pros.

Anwar is a digital marketing consultant with deep cryptocurrency knowledge and a successful background in the Bitcoin ATM industry. He leverages his 10+ years of experience to provide valuable insights on BTMs trends & regulations.

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