(STL.News) Bitcoin ATMs have grown in popularity over the past couple of years, with projections suggesting that they might topple online exchanges soon. Still, not many people know the first thing about these machines and how they can impact their trading experience. This article will introduce you to Bitcoin ATMs and some of the basic things you need to know about them.
Bitcoin ATMs are commonly known as kiosks, where you can buy Bitcoin using cash. Modern ATMs offer more than that; they support the selling of Bitcoin for cash too like this St Louis Bitcoin ATM. Note that despite the increase in demand for machines that support both purchasing and selling Bitcoin, one-way ATMs still make up around 70% of installations worldwide, so the search might take longer than you expected.
Bitcoin ATMs are available in over 90 countries worldwide, with the U.S. playing host to almost half of all ATM installations. That is nothing to sneeze at for a system that started less than a decade ago.
As regards new installations, there was an average of six cryptocurrency machines being erected daily by June 2019. That rate is expected to surge significantly over the next decade, with cryptocurrency newcomers expected to prefer ATMs to online exchanges.
Albeit identical in appearance and ease of use, Bitcoin ATMs and Bank ATMs are quite distinct. Bank ATMs require the use of a card that is linked to your bank account to withdraw cash or request bank statements, while Bitcoin ATMs do not require cards. All you need to do is enter your wallet authentication credentials to sell Bitcoin or your wallet address if you want to make a crypto purchase instead. Debit cards are only useful when you want to use money in your bank account to load your Bitcoin wallet.
While online exchanges come as relatively inconvenient, time-consuming, and limiting, their transaction costs are lower. Bitcoin ATMs charge an average fee of 8% to 10%, which is a tad too much, especially for large transactions. With that being said, various ATMs charge differently, so take the time to research machines before purchasing or selling Bitcoin for cash.
Transaction caps have made it quite difficult to buy or sell any significant amount of cryptocurrency on online exchanges. Some exchanges limit transactions to $200 per week, while others will set restrictions on the number of transactions you can make in a day. Bitcoin ATMs have similar limits, but theirs are significantly higher; you can buy or sell $1,000-10,000 worth of Bitcoin per transaction, depending on the machine you choose.
These are some of the things you need to know about Bitcoin ATMs. Make sure to understand how other cryptocurrency concepts — including setting up and loading a Bitcoin wallet — work before making any ATM transaction.