How Do Bitcoin ATMs Work

Deyan Georgiev
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Oct 16, 2022


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A lot has changed since the days when bitcoin was first introduced in 2008. Nowadays it's widely accepted, has even become a legal tender in some countries, and there are Bitcoin ATMs.

But wait.

How do bitcoin ATMs work?

What Is a Bitcoin ATM?

A bitcoin ATM is a machine that allows you to purchase and sell bitcoins. To use the bitcoin machine, you need to prepare some cash and your bitcoin wallet’s address.

How to Find a Bitcoin ATM?

Finding one of these ATMs is not difficult at all. There are a few online tools you can use.

For example, Coin ATM Radar allows you to filter by location, type of coin, buy/sell, and even find an actual teller. Their map is worldwide, covering everything from the US to Australia.


Separate states and countries have different regulations. There is no set-in-stone high bar for purchasing through a bitcoin ATM machine. Still, depending on the size of the purchase, there are different requirements

For smaller purchases, you may be asked to present a phone number. Larger ones would require an ID, social security number, or other sensitive data.

Usually, the low bar is a purchase of $20. Depending on the company of your choice, you may be able to withdraw anywhere between $3,000 - $20,000. 

Keep in mind that you would probably need to contact the company’s support department for anything over a few thousand dollars.


You know how bitcoin ATMs work, but this leaves the question of legality. You will probably be happy to know that in the US and most of the world, cryptocurrency exchanges and ATMs are legal

Exceptions are: 

  • Algeria 
  • Bangladesh 
  • China 
  • Egypt 
  • Iraq 
  • Morocco 
  • Nepal 
  • Qatar 
  • Tunisia

Keep in mind that laws and regulations are constantly evolving. Even though something is legal or illegal now, it does not mean that things will not change. Make sure to contact a certified legal specialist before making any risky decisions.

How Do Bitcoin ATMs Work?

First thing that you should know is that every BTC machine is connected to the internet. This allows it to check the current bitcoin exchange rate in real-time

In order for you to purchase or sell cryptocurrency at a crypto ATM you will need to set up a wallet

It is an application that stores all of your bitcoins’ access data. Without it, you cannot make any transactions. The wallet may be accessed with a QR code, or manually written.

How To Use a Bitcoin ATM?

Buying is easy. You have to:

  • Locate a crypto ATM.
  • On the machine choose Buy Coins.
  • Choose the relative amount you would like to buy.
  • Enter your phone number.
  • Enter a secret PIN code - make sure you remember it!
  • Select the coin you would like to purchase.
  • To send the bitcoins to your wallet, either scan the QR code on your phone or type it using the keyboard on the ATM.
  • Insert your bills into the machine.
  • After a few minutes, the coins should arrive in your wallet.


Alternatively, you’ll have to create an account via the ATM. Then, enter your Bitcoin wallet address, insert some cash and you’ll get the crypto transferred into your wallet. Don’t forget to keep your receipt!

In addition, you can send cash

First, you need to have an account with the device operator. Log in and choose the amount you want to send. Then, enter the recipient’s wallet address and insert cash into the machine. The other person will get the sum in bitcoin.

Bitcoin ATM Fees

When it comes to transaction fees, crypto ATMs and regular ATMs are quite similar.  They depend on bank services and devices.

Bitcoin machines work on the same principle. Depending on which company’s machine you are using, the fees may vary somewhere between 6% - 20%

It is good to check all available information before starting a transaction, as it may become a sour experience.

Wrap Up

Cryptocurrency is everywhere these days. So, it was only logical that we’d see bitcoin ATMs emerge.

Now you know how to use one!

Just be careful - scammers exist everywhere.


Do Bitcoin ATMs charge a fee?

Yes, they do. Depending on the machine’s bitcoin ATM machine manufacturer, the fee may fluctuate anywhere between 6% - 20%.

Does Bitcoin ATM give cash?

This depends on the ATM’s manufacturer. Some machines may buy bitcoins from you, but it is something that has to be checked for each separate machine.

Is a Bitcoin ATM profitable?

As profitable as you can make any other monetary exchange or transaction service. As a user, it is good to familiarize yourself with how do bitcoin ATMs work. Also check the service fee before making any plans. As an owner, make sure that your ATM is easily located and is active as much as possible.


Deyan Georgiev

Deyan Georgiev

Deyan has been fascinated by technology his whole life. From the first Tetris game all the way to Falcon Heavy. Working for TechJury is like a dream come true, combining both his passions – writing and technology. In his free time (which is pretty scarce, thanks to his three kids), Deyan enjoys traveling and exploring new places. Always with a few chargers and a couple of gadgets in the backpack. He makes mean dizzying Island Paradise cocktails too.

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