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How does a bitcoin ATM work?


In the truest sense, bitcoin ATMs aren’t actually ATMs. They serve as centers to buy and sell bitcoins. These “BTMs” offer bitcoins to people who are not a part of the banking system.

Bitcoin ATMs are preferred by people because of the privacy they have to offer.

How to use BTMs?

  • The BTMs can be easily found online. Once you locate one near your house, you can use their services.
  • Not all, but most of the BTMs offer a two-way support system, where you can buy as well as sell bitcoins. The common bitcoin ATMs found will allow you only to buy bitcoins with fiat money. Fiat money is a legal tender issued by the Government of any particular country in the local currency.
  • Most of the BTMs require a valid ID and a phone number for any sort of bitcoin transactions through the ATMs. It all depends on the operator and the machine the level of personal information that one may have to reveal. This, in turn, helps keep your bitcoins safe.
  • A BTM is very similar to an ATM. Here also you need an OTP to proceed with your transactions.

Buying Bitcoins

  • You will require entering the fiat notes one after another in the machine after you have gone through the verification procedures to buy the bitcoins.
  • Once the money is deposited, you will get a printed offline wallet or bitcoins in your Bitcoin wallet. In some cases, you may also experience bitcoins being sent to your email address.
  • For the ones using a Bitcoin wallet for the first time, you get a paper with a QR code on it. Upon scanning the QR code, you get a private key that gives you access to your wallet and the Bitcoins you have bought. You can alternatively receive bitcoins through emails after the QR code is sent by mail. These emails can also be encrypted by setting passwords.

After purchasing the bitcoins, you can either use them or invest them. Usually the price of bitcoins is 5-10% higher than the present rates at the exchanges.

Selling bitcoins

Selling bitcoins is an easy procedure. You just have to enter the amount of Bitcoins you want to sell. Next, send it to the address as displayed on the machine. The fiat money will be dispensed once the transaction is completed.

The selling price offered at BTMs is also 5–10% lesser than the exchange rates.

BTMs are secure in the sense that they save Know Your Customer (KYC)/Anti Money Laundering (AMC) and look over any suspicious activity. Once everything is verified, you are allowed to buy bitcoins. One can withdraw bitcoins from their wallets and buy as many as they want provided the operator has those in stock.

The BTM operator has to meet some stringent rules and operating a BTM is a challenging task for them. By registering themselves under the federal financial crimes enforcement networks and obtaining the money transmitter license they can carry on their process of helping people with the bitcoin transactions.

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