How Does a Bitcoin ATM Work?

Did you know that Bitcoin has been around since 2009? For those that follow Bitcoin, you are more than likely aware that Bitcoin is here to stay and has gone from $0 to over $68,000 in 2021, and currently, it is fluctuating around $19,000. If you are seeing more Bitcoin ATMs pop up in your area and are wondering what they are and how they work, we are here to help.

Read on to learn what they are, how they work, and why they are a smart investment for your place of business.

What Is a Bitcoin ATM?

Before talking about how a Bitcoin ATM works, let’s clear up what a Bitcoin ATM is. You can compare them to regular ATMs, because they allow you to either deposit or take out cash. Unlike a traditional ATM, though, a person does not need a bank account to use this type of ATM.

Bitcoin ATMs allow people to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as ETH and Litecoin. A bonus is that they are pretty user intuitive, so even a first-time buyer of crypto can use them without a headache. You can get more info to see if there is an ATM near you.

How the ATM Works

First, you will download a wallet on a digital app. Then you will be ready to use a Bitcoin ATM. When you arrive at the ATM, you will tap on the screen where you want to buy coins.

The wording might be slightly different depending on the machine, but the goal is to choose the option to buy when you are trying to buy. Once you choose the buying option, then you will enter how much you want to buy.

Usually, you will also be asked to enter your mobile phone number. The phone number is to verify via text to ensure it’s you. After the verification, the machine will prompt where to send the Bitcoin.

This is where you will use your wallet app with your digital address. We recommend using the QR code version to avoid typing in the wrong digit. This lets the ATM know where it is sending your Bitcoin once you add your cash to the machine.

Once the machine scans your wallet, it will have you confirm the address to make sure it is correct. Always take time to double-check and check again to make sure it is correct before moving forward because if your money goes to the wrong address by accident, there is no way to retrieve it.

Next, you will insert the cash into the machine to buy your Bitcoin. Look at the minimum and maximum amounts that the machine allows you to deposit before putting in too much or too little. Also, although Bitcoin, as of the writing of this post, is costing around $19,000; you do not have to buy an entire coin, you can just buy a piece of the coin with as much or as little cash as you want.

After you insert your cash, the total amount of Bitcoin you are purchasing will appear on the screen.

If everything looks good, you can finish the process and the machine will print out a receipt showing you the transaction details. Shortly after (almost instantly) you will receive your Bitcoin in your digital wallet. It should not take longer than a few minutes.


Every time you use a Bitcoin ATM to buy Bitcoin or other coins the machine allows, there will be a fee you will also have to pay. The fees tend to be a lot higher than traditional withdrawal fees from traditional ATMs.

Instead of being a flat dollar amount, the fees are usually a percentage of your transaction. The percentage will vary based on the machine, but it can be anywhere from 8% to more than 25%. You might want to shop around if you want to pay the lowest possible fee.

Reasons to Have a Bitcoin ATM

Business owners with a physical store should consider having a Bitcoin ATM in their building if they want to make some extra money. There are also a few other benefits of saying yes to a Bitcoin ATM such as:

Revenue Increase

No business owner will say “no” to extra revenue. Hosting a Bitcoin ATM offers the opportunity to make more money from both the ATM and the extra foot traffic from people that come to use the ATM.

With most ATMs, as the owner, you can earn a portion of revenue from each transaction that is made. You can also opt to get paid a flat fee each month just for hosting the machine and allowing the machine owner to park it in your place of business.

Easy to Use

Another reason for having a Bitcoin ATM is that it’s pretty easy to use, so you won’t really have to deal with people interrupting you to ask you how to use it. A person just has to follow the step-by-step instructions given by the ATM.

Plus, there is no need to deal with long key wallets, account setups, or online wallets. Instead, the machine gives the person a QR code that has a public and private key that can be scanned with a phone, and it is recognized by standard crypto wallet applications.

Keep Up With the Times

Hosting a Bitcoin ATM is a way to show people that your business is keeping up with the times. This is another way of saying that you embrace change, and this alone can attract a new crowd to your business location.

This crowd can become loyal customers of what you offer only on the fact that they appreciate other out-of-the-box thinkers like them.

Marketing Opportunities

Hosting a Bitcoin ATM in your place of business means extra advertising via the manufacturer of the ATM. Your business will be listed as a location for one of their ATMs on their website.

Every Bitcoin ATM company offers a section of their website where people can search for the ATM closest to them. Every time someone searches for a Bitcoin ATM on the company’s website, they are directed straight to your business link.

No Bank Accounts Needed

Although many people have bank accounts nowadays, there are still some people that don’t. Bitcoin ATMs are a perfect choice for those people without traditional bank accounts. These ATMs give them the ability to have access to financial services or to store funds.

If you personally have never been without a bank, you might not realize how essential it is to have a bank account for day-to-day life. Bitcoin ATMs help create a gateway for those that can’t set up a bank account for whatever reason.

Unbanked people can now have some type of financial security that they did not have in the past. Anyone that has a digital wallet and a phone number can buy, sell, and store their cryptocurrency.

No Account Needed

A customer does not need to have an account or complete the infamous KYC (identity verification) in order to use a Bitcoin ATM. This is a major plus for those that want to remain a bit more private about their purchases and don’t want to deal with making accounts and having an extra password to remember.

The daily limit transaction amount varies based on the ATM, but it is fairly high. The only time someone would have to create an account would be if they want to exceed the daily limit set by the ATM company.

If someone wants to have higher transaction limits, they just have to do their homework on what the daily limits for ATMs near them have. The pro about a machine from Byte Federal is that they offer a $21,000 daily limit, which is one of the higher limits out in the market.

Now You Know How a Bitcoin ATM Works

Now that you know how a Bitcoin ATM works and why they are a great choice to have in your place of business, you can make an informed decision if having a Bitcoin ATM is right for you. It can really help make some extra money without having to do much work or take up too much real estate. Bitcoin ATMs are quickly becoming a convenient alternative to using banks for many people.

Did our guide help you out today? Please continue browsing our cryptocurrency section to stay up to date about everything in the crypto world.


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