If you don’t dare to trade online at a crypto exchange but want to buy bitcoin or other altcoins (as long as these are enabled by the operator) comfortably in an offline place you can visit a bitcoin ATM. There are various designs of such machines in all countries across the globe. Bitcoin ATMs can be divided into two groups: one-way machines to buy only or both-ways machines to buy and sell.
If you want to buy bitcoin all that you need is a mobile wallet. Alternatively, you can have your wallet (containing a private key) printed by the ATM. At first, it may seem complicated, but in a moment you will see that it isn’t.. Let’s walk through the process of buying and selling step by step.
First you must choose one of the two options on the ATM screen
- Deposit cash -> Buy bitcoin
- Withdraw cash -> Sell bitcoin
Steps to buy a bitcoin:
- The first step is to choose the amount. Purchases up to USD 1 000 to one BTC address per day usually can be made anonymously. If you wish to buy more you must register at the website or via a service desk in order to verify your identity.
- Then the ATM will prompt you to scan your wallet’s QR code. The wallet can be on paper or on your handset.
- In the next step, insert the amount you want to exchange in the machine and press a button on the screen to confirm the transaction.
- If the ATM has an embedded printer you can get a hardcopy of the confirmation.
- Your request is then sent to an exchange. In a few minutes, your purchased bitcoins or altcoins will appear in your wallet.
Steps to sell bitcoin:
- First of all, the ATM will prompt you to agree to the terms and conditions.
- Then you must enter the amount for which you wish to sell the bitcoin. The system will instantly show you the converted amount (at the current exchange rate).
- The system will display the amount in BTC along with the address to which you are sending the bitcoin. Once confirmed, the machine will print out a slip containing the address and the QR code and the exact sum will be sent over your mobile wallet to the specified address. You always have 30 to 60 minutes to complete the transaction. There is no need to wait in front of the machine. When entering the transaction, you just specify your phone number to receive a notification by SMS once the transaction has been executed.
- Return to the machine and select “withdraw” on the screen and scan the QR of the slip received and used for selling. Finally, the ATM will pay you the sum.
For example: In the Czech Republic, there are more types of ATM machines such as BitcoMAT, RoboCoin with slightly different environments. However, the steps are the same. Though most of the machines are placed in Prague, they are worth trying to learn how to sell, buy, enter orders, scan the QR code etc. It may happen that in the near future our traditional ATMs will be replaced by the bitcoin machines to become part of our daily lives.