Bitcoin has become a global sensation over the past few years as more and more people are investing, trading and getting into the cryptocurrency market. From its conception in 2009, its value has skyrocketed at a time to almost 20,000 USD per BTC. Despite having no actual value, bitcoin has become an asset in today's market as its value continues to change due to its demand. The growing popularity of bitcoin and the rising number of available cryptocurrencies in the world has led to an increasing number of individuals creating their own cryptocurrency wallets.
Following this trend, multiple industries have started to recognize bitcoins and altcoins as a legit form of payment. Over the years, bitcoin has leveled up from its status as "Magic Internet Money" and becoming a global currency just as it was envisioned to be. With more bitcoin owners around the world, companies have started to find ways to get in the industry, some by developing exchange sites, investing in the market and some, like Coinsource, through setting up bitcoin ATMs to provide BTCs on-the-go.
Bitcoin Teller Machines: One-way or Two-way
These bitcoin ATMs function as either one-way or two-way kiosk machines that, by connecting to an exchange platform to get currency exchange values, allow users to either buy or sell bitcoins. The earlier models, or the majority of bitcoin ATMs, only provide a buy function where a user is able to input cash to exchange it to bitcoins. Where do the bitcoins go? The depositor should provide a QR code linking the machine to an existing bitcoin wallet. Much like a regular bank ATM that requires the person to have an existing account with the company to withdraw funds, bitcoin ATMs can only be used by people with an existing cryptocurrency wallet. More recently, two-way bitcoin ATMs can now also enable one to withdraw cash in exchange for bitcoins. This exchange is done in real time since the ATM will provide a QR code for you to send your bitcoins to. After sending over your bitcoins, the ATM will dispense your cash. An easy way to avoid having to go through bank transfers just to get your bitcoin's equivalent in cash. However, it should be noted that these ATMs charge transaction fees of up to 5%.
How to use a Bitcoin ATM?
|BUY BITCOINS||SELL BITCOINS|
When buying bitcoins, you give the ATM your cash and get bitcoins sent to your wallet.
2. Scan Wallet QR Code
3. Select amount to buy
4. Insert Cash
5. Receive bitcoins
When selling bitcoins, you send the bitcoins to the machine through a provided QR code and get cash.
2. Select amount to sell
3. Receive a QR code
4. Send bitcoins to QR code
5. Receive Cash
Some would argue that these bitcoin "ATMs" should more aptly be referred to as bitcoin kiosks since they are just machines with a simpler user interface targeted to help individuals navigate through an embedded exchange platform in order to conduct simpler crypto-transactions. However, the term makes it easier for people to understand the concept by relating it to the bank ATMs that many are so familiar with. And, although the bitcoin ATM is not a perfect analogy to the conventional bank ATM, users are still able to withdraw money from their bitcoin wallets and deposit their cash into it.
These bitcoin ATMs are also located in areas where usual bank ATMs are found. And to an unsuspecting person, they look like regular bank ATMs. A vast majority of these machines are spread throughout the USA while barely a quarter of existing machines are found throughout Europe. Just a bit over 5% of working bitcoin ATMs are found in all other parts of the world. This is no surprise though as these statistics seem to correlate well with the statistics on the bitcoin owners around the world. These bitcoin ATMs are constantly being set up in various locations throughout the globe to make the digital currency more accessible to people who already have cryptocurrency while also raising awareness to the masses that are not familiar with this form of technology.
Aside from having an easy way to trade bitcoins, other cryptocurrency ATMs have been put in place around the globe. Some bitcoin ATMs have been integrated with LTC, ETH and other altcoin-trading capabilities. Other functionalities are being incorporated into the machines. Just like the bank ATMs which are now capable of conducting online payments or bank transfers, these options may slowly become available on cryptocurrency ATMs, enabling individuals to use their assets on a daily basis.
Some have defined bitcoin to be more of a commodity than a currency since people buy into it mostly with the hope to trade and earn from it rather than to actually use it as a medium to exchange goods and other services, as a currency should be used for. These ATMs allow bitcoins to grow and function more as a crypto "currency" by providing people with an easy, secure and quick way to access their bitcoins, or, now, any other form of cryptocurrency as well.