A Bitcoin ATM is a kiosk that allows a person to exchange Bitcoin and cash. Some
Bitcoin ATMs offer bi-directional functionality enabling both the purchase of Bitcoin
as well as the sale of Bitcoin for cash. In some cases, Bitcoin ATM providers require
users to have an existing account to transact on the machine.
On October 29, 2013, a Robocoin machine opened in the Waves coffee shop in
downtown Vancouver, Canada. This machine is understood to be the world’s first
public available Bitcoin ATM. In April 2014, Coinme became the first Bitcoin ATM
provider with a money transmitter’s license installing a unit in Bell town in Seattle,
Washington. On December 8, 2013, Europe’s first Bitcoin ATM was installed in
According to Coin ATM Radar, there are more than 2,342 Bitcoin ATMs in the United
States as of January, 2018, with small shop owners earning a reported $300 a month
for rental space. Bitcoin machines are not yet regulated in Canada, however the
Canadian Finance Minister mentioned plans to introduce anti-money laundering and
anti-terrorist financing regulations for virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
Despite crypto price drop Bitcoin ATMs now numbers 4,000 worldwide, rather than
carrying debit, credit and cash, you can just tap your phone to pay. Presently, the
three most established systems are from Apple, Samsung and Google. Mobile
payment systems use a method called tokenization to keep card details secure. Once
you added your card to the app, it generates a virtual account number, and your real
card is never given to the merchant.
The card network then verifies the payment. If you lose your phone, all three allow
you to remotely wipe the device which will also remove all of your card details.
Bitcoins ATMs don’t require users to have a traditional checking, or saving account.
People can insert cash, and instantly buy Bitcoin. That’s important for lower income
areas where many American families don’t believe in traditional banks because of high
fees. Many Bitcoin ATM users are using the machines to send money overseas, and to
avoid international wire fees.
So why are users in support of the new cryptocurrency?
-Processing fees are less than credit card transactions.
-Once the transaction is complete, it’s final.
-Get money in real time. Don’t have to wait to have access to funds.