Bitcoin ATM is an Internet-connected kiosk that allows customers to purchase bitcoins with deposited cash. A bitcoin ATM is not the same as an ATM backed by a bank or traditional financial institution.


In the arc of financial history, it wasn’t until relatively recently that an individual could get cash or make a deposit anywhere other than a bank branch. The automated teller machine, or ATM, was introduced in the 1970s, and has now become such a common fixture that it is uncommon not to have one located nearby.

While the use of banking via the Internet and mobile applications has reduced demand for some of the ATM’s traditional features, it has found itself in a renaissance driven by the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATMs allow customers to buy and sell bitcoins. The use of “ATM” is a bit of a misnomer, as it is not actually an ATM but rather an Internet-connected machine. The kiosk connects the customer to an exchange where bitcoin transactions can be conducted. Transaction records are provided via a receipt generated by the kiosk, much like a traditional ATM, or they can remain digital.

While a bitcoin ATM looks like a regular ATM, it does not dispense coins or notes. Depending on the ATM operator, customers may be required to connect to their e-wallet in order to complete a transaction.

Bitcoin ATMs are rarely operated by major financial institutions. As such, they do not connect customers to a bank account. Customers instead deposit cash into the bitcoin ATM, which can then be used to purchase the cryptocurrency.

Often, a bitcoin ATM will set an upper and lower limit to the amount of cash that can be deposited. Since the upper limit may be lower than the price of one bitcoin token, customers are able to purchase fractions of bitcoin. After a purchase is made, a record of the bitcoin will appear in the customer’s e-wallet, though this may take several minutes to process.

Some ATMs require customers to pass these security checks before completing a transaction. The ATM may require a two-factor authentication. This may involve the customer inputting a phone number to receive a verification code. The code would then have to be typed into the ATM. The kiosk may also require scanning a government-issued identification, such as a driver’s license.

Bitcoin ATMs are not widely available, with kiosks typically only found in major cities. ATMs are more likely to be owned and operated by companies focused on the cryptocurrency industry. In some cases, a bitcoin ATM may be operated by a company that offers its own trading platform or e-wallet. These companies may require a customer to have an account in order to conduct a transaction, much like how banks do.

Customers are charged a service fee for using a bitcoin ATM. This fee is typically charged as a percentage of the transaction rather than a fixed dollar value typically seen in traditional ATMs. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has indicated that fee percentages may be very high, and that the exchange rates offered may not be as competitive as consumers would find elsewhere.

  1. Automated Teller Machine - ATM

    An automated teller machine is an electronic banking outlet for ...
  2. Bitcoin

    Bitcoin is a digital or virtual currency that uses peer-to-peer ...
  3. Bitcoin Cash

    Bitcoin cash is a cryptocurrency is a fork of Bitcoin Classic ...
  4. Bitcoin Classic

    A fork from Bitcoin Core that proposed increasing the size of ...
  5. Bitcoin Whale

    Large holders of bitcoins are called bitcoin whales, whose actions ...
  6. Currency Exchange

    Travelers looking to buy foreign currency can do so at a currency ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    10 Cities Leading Bitcoin Adoption

    An overview of the global cities leading the way in using the virtual currency Bitcoin.
  2. Tech

    5,000 Bitcoin ATMs May Be Coming to Europe This Year

    Bitlish has revealed an ambitious plan to open around 5,000 BTMs in Europe in 2017.
  3. Personal Finance

    Why You Should Stick With The Big Banks

    Big doesn't always mean bad. We tell you four reasons why.
  4. Tech

    How Bitcoin Can Change The World

    Bitcoin has the potential to not only create savings for consumer, but also to transform global transactions.
  5. Tech

    Are There Taxes On Bitcoins?

    Here is a short guide to the tax implications when using or investing in bitcoins in the US.
  6. Tech

    What Determines the Price of 1 Bitcoin?

    There are several factors that affect bitcoin's price, including supply and demand, forks, and competition.
  7. Tech

    The Rise And Fall And Rise Of Bitcoin

    A look at the reasons behind the recent spectacular surge in bitcoin prices.
  8. Tech

    How Did Bitcoin Cash’s Price Perform in 2017?

    2018 will likely see bitcoin cash’s legitimacy echo its growing maturity in a rapidly developing market.
  9. Tech

    Benefits & Risks of Trading Forex with Bitcoin

    Want to trade forex using bitcoins? Don’t jump on the bandwagon until you compare the risks to the benefits.
  10. Tech

    How to Buy Bitcoin

    It's one of the biggest buzzwords in the financial space, but many people don't know how to buy Bitcoin.
  1. How do you buy Bitcoins?

    Many people have heard of this virtual cryptocurrency, but few know all the ways you can purchase Bitcoin. Read Answer >>
  2. How do you Cancel a NetSpend Card?

    Learn how to close or cancel your NetSpend account. Be aware of potential issues and fees associated with doing so. Read Answer >>
  3. What are the advantages of paying with Bitcoin?

    Learn how payments made with Bitcoins offer certain advantages over standard currency, including user anonymity, no taxation ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why do Bitcoins have value?

    Performing with transactional anonymity, Bitcoin has value as a private digital currency, investment tool and social networking ... Read Answer >>
  5. Is Bitcoin legal in the US?

    Learn about the legality of Bitcoin as a form of payment in the United States, as well as how it is produced and concerns ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Entrepreneur

    An Entrepreneur is an individual who founds and runs a small business and assumes all the risk and reward of the venture. ...
  2. Money Market

    The money market is a segment of the financial market in which financial instruments with high liquidity and very short maturities ...
  3. Perfect Competition

    Pure or perfect competition is a theoretical market structure in which a number of criteria such as perfect information and ...
  4. Compound Interest

    Compound Interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods ...
  5. Income Statement

    A financial statement that measures a company's financial performance over a specific accounting period. Financial performance ...
  6. Leverage Ratio

    A leverage ratio is any one of several financial measurements that look at how much capital comes in the form of debt, or ...
Trading Center