There isn’t a bitcoin user out there that wouldn’t want to see widespread adoption of bitcoin as a functional currency. Bitcoin ATMs are an example of this in action. 

Bitcoin, the most popular of all cryptocurrencies, can be found in little pockets all over the world. While the use case scenarios of the digital currency are plentiful, the actual use of it- outside of it being a profitable asset for trading- seem to be much less so. Despite the fact the coin is more widely accepted by retailers and charities alike nowadays, and wallet access is as simple as downloading an app, there are still holes in its accessibility. 

In the same way that nascent exchange platforms like Bitvavo help new users navigate the crypto sphere and in turn promote its usability and widespread adoption, bitcoin ATMs hope to achieve the same. In the last few years, thousands of bitcoin ATMs have been added to the worldwide roster, hoping to provide interested parties with a simple and convenient way to access their funds. Helping bitcoin to behave more like the currency it was built to be. 

What is a Bitcoin ATM? 

Riding on pretty much exactly the same concept of traditional ATMs, bitcoin ATMs allow bitcoin users to withdraw fiat, bitcoins, or altcoins from their simple servers. Users can also use bitcoin ATMs to move around their bitcoin funds by buying or selling. This can often encourage a fee of up to 10% however, so the convenience could prove cost-prohibitive for some users. 

The kiosks generally accept any number of currencies like cash, tokens and cryptocurrencies, and even debit cards. Making it incredibly simple to transact most kinds of finances as you need to. There are over 8,000 bitcoin ATMs in existence throughout the world with the US and Australia boasting the most machines. So if you can’t get to your exchange platform, you may be in luck, as a bitcoin ATM could be just around the corner.

How Do They Work? 

Bitcoin ATMs aren’t just for withdrawal, in fact, users can even purchase bitcoin and altcoins through the machines. Maybe the biggest motivating factor behind Bitcoin ATM use is the fact that users can control their stores anonymously. Which is a big motivating factor for many. However, not all machines provide this service and some may require identifying documents if users are trying to secure larger transactions. 

Finding the machine nearest you is relatively easy, as there are a number of location-based websites and applications that help locate a conveniently placed kiosk. Depending on the type of bitcoin ATM that is closest will dictate what types of transactions users can perform, or how they would go about using the machine. Many use QR codes associated with the user’s bitcoin or altcoin wallet to deliver to or pull funds from. 

More recently, bitcoin has come out with “bitcoin debit cards” cards that work similarly to banking credit cards and can be used at retailers at ATMs that accept bitcoin transactions. While they do exist, and if you have one- you should absolutely be using it, the truth is these cards are much rarer than you’d expect. So not as many retailers and ATMs are programmed to accept them as we would like to see. 

Why Use a Bitcoin ATM?

While many people may look at the transaction fees that go along with using the kiosks and wonder why anyone would use them- when exchanges are often quick, easily accessible, and have lower fees. Perhaps the most enticing thing that draws users toward using bitcoin ATMs is the anonymity that is allowed for transactions. 

As bitcoin users are more and more often subject to KYC protocols on large exchanges. These protocols have even extended to peer-to-peer trading platforms to a degree, as more of these platforms look to comply with local and national financial laws. It can be difficult for users with a staunch moral objection to KYC to find an outlet that allows them to tap into bitcoin’s pseudo-anonymity. Which is one of the base ethics of the cryptocurrency. 

As the ATMs rarely require personal information and connect to public servers via the internet, it becomes simple for proponents of privacy coins to get their tokens without giving their names.