How to Use a Bitcoin ATM in 8 Simple Steps
So, you’ve been doing some research and decided you’re finally ready to buy Bitcoin. If you are a person who often uses cash, Bitcoin ATMs are a great option for purchasing cryptocurrency. Bitcoin ATMs are the easiest way to safely convert cash to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fast.
In this article, I will walk you through the entire process of using a Bitcoin ATM in eight simple steps. As someone who tends to buy their crypto online, I decided to head out into the field to get some first-hand experience using a Bitcoin ATM. If you’d like to see how that process went, you’re in luck! I recorded the entire transaction.
First things first, if you haven’t already, I recommend checking out this article: A Beginner’s Guide to Buying Crypto. This comprehensive resource will help you understand everything you need to know before buying crypto.
To use a Bitcoin ATM, you will need to have a crypto wallet. For more information on crypto wallets, please look at our Cryptocurrency Explained post on digital wallets.
Buy Cryptocurrencies with Cash at a Bitcoin ATM
Step 1 - Find your closest Bitcoin ATM
Type your location into the ATM Locator online to find the Bitcoin ATMs near you. With nearly 1500 ATMs across 45 states and counting, you’re never too far from a CoinFlip ATM. I typed in my address and found that my closest Bitcoin ATM was just a few blocks away!
Step 2 - Select which type of cryptocurrency you would like to buy
Once you’ve made it to your closest Bitcoin ATM, you will be prompted to select which cryptocurrency you would like to buy. I decided to go with Bitcoin because I was looking to buy the price dip ($35,920 at purchase time).
Step 3 - Accept the terms and conditions
Next, the Bitcoin ATM will present you with CoinFlip’s very detailed service terms that you can find online here.
At the top will you see a warning against participating in any scams, saying:
“ Have you been sent to this ATM to make a payment for ANYTHING, such as SSN fraud, taxes, utility bills, tickets, cars, equipment, money transfers, ransom, bail, eBay, Airbnb, or anything odd? STOP! You are being scammed, hang up and call us at (877)-757-2646.”
When using a Bitcoin ATM, please be mindful only to buy crypto for yourself and always send it to your personal crypto wallet. If you have any questions or second thoughts about your transaction, please call the 24/7 customer support line, and they will be happy to guide you through the process.
All Bitcoin transactions are final and irreversible, even if they happen to be fraudulent. This is why it is up to you to do your due diligence before making a transaction.
The Terms of Service also serve as a reminder about the nature of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Namely, they are not legal tender and are not backed by any government or financial institution, meaning they are not subject to Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) or Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) protections.
I highly recommend taking a look over the Terms of Service in your own time, but know that all Bitcoin ATM transactions are final and non-refundable, so stay vigilant.
Step 4 - Select your cash limit
After accepting the machine’s Terms of Service, you will be prompted to select a cash limit. You have two options: “up to $900”, or “more than $900”. During my visit, I selected the “up to $900” option, which took me to Step 5 below.
However, suppose you wish to buy more than $900 in crypto at the Bitcoin ATM. In that case, you will be notified that this transaction amount is reserved for registered customers only. At this point, you can select “Yes, I’m already a registered customer,” where it takes you to Step 5 below.
If you select yes and you are not a registered customer, an error message will be displayed.
Alternatively, you can select “No, but I would like to register.” If you choose this option, the machine will ask for your phone number. After you enter that information, a customer support representative will call you to request some additional identifiable information and register you as a customer.
Step 5 - Enter your phone number
Next, you will be prompted to enter your phone number so that you can receive a single-use password that is necessary to move forward with the transaction. You will receive a text message with the password and an additional reminder to be vigilant against scams. I cannot stress it enough: be extremely cautious regarding the intent of your transactions.
Step 6 - Enter your first and last name
Now, you must enter your first and last name.
Step 7 - Scan your crypto wallet address
To deposit the Bitcoin into your digital wallet, you must scan your wallet’s address. All digital wallets have a QR code built in that is accessible through your phone. You must place the QR code in front of the built-in camera on the Bitcoin ATM. Once you do this, the machine instantly knows where to send your crypto.
Step 8 - Insert cash
This part speaks for itself, BUT this step is essential because this is also where you will insert any discount codes you maybe have.
(Hint: you can get a discount code sent to your inbox by subscribing to my newsletter, the Weekly Flip Thru. Sign up here.)
After you insert your cash, the total amount of Bitcoin you will receive will be displayed on the screen. All transaction fees are included in the price of the cryptocurrency sold.
What fees will I pay at a Bitcoin ATM?
The fee for purchasing crypto across all CoinFlip ATMs is a flat 6.99%. This 6.99% is on top of the cryptocurrency spot price selected based on the index prices found here. If you have a discount code, the discount will be deducted from the 6.99% fee.
In addition to the company’s fee, there are network fees associated with the cryptocurrency you wish to buy. For Bitcoin, there is an additional $1-$4 miner fee. With Ethereum transactions, there is a GAS fee. Each cryptocurrency has an internal fee structure, with some being pricier than others. You can find more information about the various network fees associated with different cryptocurrencies in each of their Cryptocurrency Explained articles: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dash, Chainlink, Stellar, and Binance.
So, in my case, I inserted $20 into the machine. The 6.99% fee of $1.40 was deducted from my total in addition to a $1 miners fee. In less than 10 minutes (the average time it takes to verify Bitcoin transactions), $17.60 worth of BTC appeared in my crypto wallet.
The minimum amount of cash required to use a Bitcoin ATM is $5, proving that cryptocurrency is accessible to all. You do not have to be rich to buy Bitcoin.
Now, enjoy your crypto
If you need a receipt and did not select to have it sent to you on the final green screen of your transaction, have no fear! You can have your receipt sent to you via text message by calling customer support at (877)-757-2646 and selecting option 1.
And that’s it. Using a Bitcoin ATM is as easy as eight simple steps. If you have any trouble at all, our customer support team is available to assist 24/7, 365 days.
Using a Bitcoin ATM is one of the fastest, safest, and easiest ways to buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash. With the lowest fees, the largest network of Bitcoin ATMs, and the most reliable customer support, CoinFlip is the best way to purchase and sell cryptocurrency. Kickstart your crypto journey today! Find your closest Bitcoin ATM to get started!
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