How did you first hear about bitcoin?
Maybe you saw a story on the news and did some research.
Perhaps a friend or family member told you about it, and you were intrigued.
You might have even seen a bitcoin ATM in your local mall or grocery store and decided to check it out.
Exciting, isn’t it? What a time to be alive, magic internet money and all that.
However, the steps involved in making your first purchase can appear to be daunting.
In this blog post, we will explain the basics of bitcoin ATMs and kiosks and help you find your nearest Bitcoin ATM kiosk.
What is a Bitcoin ATM?
Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks are much like the standard ATMs you see every day.
When you deposit cash into a traditional ATM, you enter your debit card first to access your account. Once you have finished depositing money into the ATM (minus any transaction fees) it’s credited into your bank account.
Using the Bitcoin ATM
Bitcoin ATMs work almost the same way as fiat ATMs, with a few simple differences.
- Instead of a debit card, you typically scan or show your government-issued ID or enter your phone number, so the ATM or kiosk can verify where to send the bitcoin.
- Much like with a deposit ATM, you will insert cash bills into the machine, but instead of depositing U.S dollars, it automatically exchanges that money for the equivalent amount of bitcoin.
Receiving your bitcoins
When using a bitcoin ATM, you will receive a deposit of bitcoin directly into your digital wallet.
When you are using a Bitcoin kiosk, you receive a redemption code on your receipt that you must enter online later to receive your bitcoin.
Selling bitcoins via a Bitcoin ATM
Some Bitcoin ATMs also offer two-way functionality which allows for you to do the same transaction in reverse: Withdraw bitcoin that is immediately exchanged into US dollars that are then dispensed from that ATM.
How Do I Use A Bitcoin ATM?
The screen itself typically provides a step-by-step tutorial.
In the video below, we will show you an example transaction using a Coinstar kiosk powered by Coinme.
- When you approach the kiosk, you simple hit get started and select the option that says Buy Bitcoin.
- After you review the brief terms and conditions, you are directed to enter your phone number. This part of the process ensures your security and links your phone number to the bitcoin purchase so no one else can gain access to your bitcoin.
- Next you will get to see the exchange rate for your bitcoin purchase.
- Finally, nou can then enter your dollar bills into the bill acceptor. Typically this is down and to the right of the screen.
- Once you have inserted all your bills, you can verify the amount entered and hit the buy bitcoin button on the lower, right-hand side of the screen.
After you have finished your purchase, the kiosk will print out your receipt. This is important to keep safe and secure, as it does include your bitcoin redemption code.
As we mentioned above, you will need to visit coinme.com/redeem and enter that code along with your phone number to have your bitcoin deposited into your digital wallet.
What Do I Do After the Kiosk Purchase?
After you have finished purchasing your bitcoin, the process of redeeming the voucher is simple as well. Once you have your receipt, you can visit coinme.com/redeem and begin the redemption process. There will be a step-by-step guide.
Are Bitcoin ATMs Safe?
While this does vary based on the company operating the machine, customer safety is a primary area of focus for all decent providers.
A good ATM provider should…
- Have a dedicated support team that you can call.
- Have a team of in-house engineers and maintainers.
- Pay attention to the kiosk location - ATMs and kiosks should be in well-lit, public spaces like shopping malls, providing a safe and secure user experience for everyone
In case you saw a Bitcoin ATM in your local mall, you should be able to find a phone number or other contact information somewhere on the booth to inquire about the points above.
Once you confirm the provider can be trusted, you can go make the purchase - ideally at a time of the day when the location will be moderately busy.
Article was edited and republished with permission. Original version originally appeared on coinme.com