Most people are aware that if they want to purchase bitcoin, they need to buy it on an online digital currency exchange.
However, there is a much more convenient alternative to making bitcoin purchases online. That alternative is bitcoin ATMs.
Bitcoin ATMs are automated teller machines that facilitate the exchange of bitcoin for fiat currency. These machines can also be referred to as bitcoin kiosks and bitcoin vending machines.
There are two types of bitcoin ATMs:
- One-way bitcoin ATMs: Those that can only be used to buy bitcoin.
- Two-way bitcoin ATMs: Those that allow you to both buy and sell bitcoin.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Bitcoin ATMs
Bitcoin ATMs provide a simple and easy way to acquire bitcoin. As bitcoin ATMs are usually located in cafes, shops or convenience stores, they are easily accessible, and anyone can use them to purchase bitcoin. Moreover, the process is fast, and you are not even required to go through an identity verification process when making smaller purchases.
However, there are also downsides to using a bitcoin ATMs to buy bitcoin. Bitcoin ATMs are known to be a more expensive means of purchasing bitcoin. For the convenience of being able to buy on-the-go using cash, users will be charged an average fee of 7%. This is higher than on most online exchanges.
Furthermore, bitcoin ATMs are usually located inside of a business that operates at certain times. Due to this, it is not possible to use the machine at all times. To avoid any disappointments, it is important to double check the opening times of the location of the kiosk.
Bitcoin ATM Statistics
There are currently around 2,330 bitcoin ATMs around the world. North America has the largest percentage of bitcoin kiosks, coming in at 76%. Europe and Asia each have 19% and 2%, respectively.
The USA leads with 1,399 vending machines, followed by Canada’s 357 and Austria’s 104. There are some countries with just a single ATM such as Guam, Aruba, Malaysia and Peru, among others.
Moreover, 68% of the existing ATMs are only one-way, with the other 32% supporting two-way transactions. While these machines started out supporting only bitcoin trades, they now also support other digital currencies. Litecoin has the highest support at 43%, followed by Ether at 21% and Dash at 7%.
How to Locate a Bitcoin ATM
The best way to find a bitcoin ATM is to use ATM locator platforms. There are websites, such as CoinATMRadar.com, which provide this information. Alternatively, you can also use mobile apps such as Bitmap, CryptoFind, or CoinATMRadar’s app to find the bitcoin ATM closest to you.
Before investing in bitcoin, it would be wise to get your finances in order first. That way you know how much you can comfortably invest without taking too much risk.