Bitcoin ATMs (or BTMs) are automated teller machines that allow you to trade fiat money (such as dollars) for Bitcoin and vice versa in person.
Users can also use a Bitcoin ATM to gain access to the Bitcoin network and check the balance of their existing funds. Bitcoin ATMs are available in many locations throughout the world and a simple google search will show local Bitcoin ATMs available within your area on a map.
The first Bitcoin ATM is believed to have opened in Vancouver, Canada in 2013. At the time of writing, there are believed to be around 15,000 Bitcoin ATMs throughout the world.
One drawback to the convenience of Bitcoin ATMs is that they tend to charge high fees compared to online exchanges, with some BTM’s charging as much as 15% fees.
How Do I Use a Bitcoin ATM?
Different Bitcoin ATMs will be operated by different companies and have different procedures for buying or selling Bitcoin. The process generally involves entering relevant information and scanning a QR code using your phone to send your Bitcoin to or from your chosen wallet.
Some Bitcoin ATMs require identity verification regardless of amount, while others may only require an email address or phone number, depending on the operator and jurisdictional laws.
Are Bitcoin ATMs Legal?
Bitcoin ATM legality differs based on what jurisdiction you live in. A general rule is that if there are many Bitcoin ATMs available in your jurisdiction, then they are likely legal. However, it is recommended that you do your own research based on your jurisdiction.