Cryptocurrencies are gaining worldwide acceptance and day by day their popularity among investors is witnessing a considerable rise. According to a recently published report from Business Insider, the total number of cryptocurrency users has already crossed the 100 million mark worldwide.
Bitcoin, the most used cryptocurrency in the world, has an estimated user base of around 20.5 million people. Moreover, around 5% of Europe’s total population uses bitcoin for investment, shopping, and various other purposes.
This growing digital trend is also leading to various interesting developments in the real world as well. The installation of Bitcoin ATMs is one such recent innovation that is said to be encouraging cryptocurrency trade, and is making the bitcoin exchange process more convenient for its users.
What Is a Bitcoin ATM?
The term “ATM” is a bit of a misnomer. The machines are not actually ATMs and do not connect to a financial institution or dispense cash. Rather, they are kiosks that connect to the bitcoin network and allow customers to purchase crypto tokens with deposited cash.
A cryptocurrency ATM includes a monitor, QR scanner, and receipt printer. Apart from providing convenience to cryptocurrency users, another major purpose behind these ATMs is to increase familiarity and mass engagement with cryptocurrency and raise transaction numbers.
While a normal ATM machine is generally operated by a financial institution, and allows you to connect with your bank account to withdraw or deposit cash, or conduct other types of transactions, cryptocurrency ATMs operate in connection with an internet-based cryptocurrency exchange portal. It is this portal that manages the transaction through the ATM, without the involvement of banks or any other financial institutions.
While many ATM machines allow users to invest in multiple cryptocurrencies, there are some which are limited to only Bitcoin exchange. In 2013, the world’s first Bitcoin ATM was installed at Waves Coffee Shop, located in the city of Vancouver, Canada. According to Coin ATM Radar, as of 2021, there were more than 17,000 cryptocurrency kiosks in the U.S. alone.
How to Use a Bitcoin ATM
The process of buying and selling bitcoins or another cryptocurrency through a Bitcoin ATM is very easy and somewhat similar to the way you use a normal bank ATM machine. However, people often get confused due to the different user verification methods adopted in these machines. Here is a step-by-step guide to use a bitcoin, or other cryptocurrency, ATM:
When you first reach the ATM machine, you are required to verify your identity. This process is carried out in different ways depending on the ATM you are using. In general, you are either requested to enter your mobile number and OTP (one-time-password), however, there are other types of verification methods in use as well, such as palm-scanning.
Choose to Sell or Buy Bitcoin
Once your identity is confirmed, you make a selection for buying or selling bitcoin. In case you wish to buy, feed a cash amount into the machine, and when your cash is accepted open the cryptocurrency wallet in your smartphone. A QR code is generated which is then scanned in order to complete the transaction.
For selling bitcoins and receiving cash in exchange, you have to scan the QR code on the ATM monitor and send bitcoins from your wallet to the same. Most of the time, this process is quick and cash is instantly dispensed from the machine, but some bitcoin ATMs will take a couple of minutes to process the exchange before you can collect the cash.
Why Bitcoin ATMs Are Getting Popular
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