What is Bitcoin ATM: Buy BTC using Cash?

A Bitcoin ATM is a device that allows the public to purchase Bitcoin with deposited cash. It differs slightly from standard ATMs from which you withdraw cash. The similarity is in the look of the machine.  Bitcoin ATMs allow you to purchase crypto using cash and the crypto gets deposited into your crypto wallet, which you would typically provide using QR Code. 

Can you withdraw Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM? 

The short answer is no. Bitcoin is not a physical asset like bills of your national currency. Instead, once you deposit cash in a Bitcoin ATM, the crypto goes into your digital wallet from which you can conduct further transactions. 

Is Bitcoin ATM different from a normal ATM? 

Yes, they are different in that Bitcoin ATMs primarily take deposits in exchange for crypto. Normal ATMs facilitate withdrawals. Traditional ATMs are run by banks that have standardized ATMs. Bitcoin ATMs are the handiwork of private companies that have their design and service fee for cash deposits.

Where is the nearest Bitcoin ATM? 

Bitcoin ATMs are still concentrated in urban areas in developed countries.  Some locations have multiple ATMs, while others have none within several hundred square kilometers. Use online searches to determine the location of an ATM near you. 

How Do I Use My BTM Machine?

  1. Purchase/register for a cryptocurrency wallet.
  2. Download the wallet QR Code or address for easier deposit.
  3. Set up an account with the ATM operator. Some operators require some personal information for regulatory compliance. 
  4. Find a Bitcoin ATM near you.
  5. Scan the wallet QR code upon prompt.
  6. Insert cash depending on the amount of crypto you want to purchase. 
  7. Confirm your purchase and the fees charged from your wallet balance.

Do Bitcoin ATMs report to the IRS?

Bitcoin ATMs were bound to attract regulatory scrutiny. The potential for criminals to deposit illicit cash in such ATMs for Bitcoin is apparent. Regulators like the IRS and FinCEN have a vested interest in obtaining transactional information. The IRS does not have an inherent way of monitoring each ATM. However, the agency can compel machine operators to provide transactional data about user activity. 

Notably, the IRS taxes Bitcoin as property. The USA and much of the world do not have comprehensive regulations for crypto money services. An increase in the popularity of Bitcoin ATMs may be one of the catalysts for regulatory clarity. 

Is it safe to buy Bitcoins from a Bitcoin ATM? 

The reliability of a Bitcoin ATM operator is indicative of its safety. Top operators like Bitcoin Depot, Coin Cloud, and Coin Flip have carved their reputations for years. Confirm that the operator you are dealing with is legitimate before depositing cash. There is also the risk of physical robbery when depositing cash, especially for large sums. Conduct your due diligence on the ATM location to determine the safety of your deposit to ensure you don’t lose hard-earned cash.