Published: Nov 03, 2022

Ever Wondered How to Purchase Bitcoin at an ATM?

Bitcoin, the world’s leading cryptocurrency, is widely used as a payment method now. Although it has faced some severe setbacks, it continues to stay afloat and attract new users.

Whether you want to make a transaction at a small convenience store or make a big purchase like a car, Bitcoin is your new “regular” currency.

The increased global acceptance has led to an increase in Bitcoin ATMs. However, some people still believe it to be oxymoronic. How can a currency without a physical presence be dispensed from an ATM?

Therefore, we’ve put together a guide on how to purchase Bitcoin from an ATM.

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM, also known as a BTM, is a machine that allows you to buy Bitcoin using cash or a debit card. BTMs are similar to regular ATMs, except they connect you to a Bitcoin exchange instead of a bank. Like this, you don’t have to go through a bank or another financial institution. While most guides on purchasing BTC advise creating a cryptocurrency exchange account and purchasing a digital wallet, a BTM can dispense Bitcoin without either.

How to Purchase Bitcoin at an ATM?

Using a BTM is a simple and fast way to purchase Bitcoin. However, the process may vary slightly depending on the type of machine you’re using.

There are two types of Bitcoin ATMs: one-way and two-way. One-way machines only allow you to buy BTC, while two-way machines also allow you to sell your BTC for cash.

For this guide, we’ll be using a one-way BTM.

Here’s a general guide on how to use a one-way Bitcoin ATM:

Look for a Bitcoin ATM:

Use CoinATMRadar to find a BTM near you. The website will also show you each machine’s exact location, fees, and limits. It’s advisable to check these before you proceed.

Choose “Buy Bitcoin”:

Once you’ve found a machine, insert your cash or card into the BTM. One bill at a time is generally accepted, but some machines also take multiple bills. On the screen, you’ll see an option to “buy Bitcoin.” Select it.

Enter Your Wallet Address:

The next step is to enter the receiving address of your Bitcoin wallet. You can scan the QR code from your digital wallet or manually enter the address. Be careful when entering the address, as any mistakes could result in your bitcoins being sent to the wrong wallet.

Choose Your Purchase Amount:

After you’ve entered your wallet address, select the amount of Bitcoin you want to purchase. The BTM will then display the corresponding amount in fiat currency. Once you confirm the transaction, the BTM will dispense your bitcoins!

And that’s it! You’ve successfully purchased bitcoin from an ATM.

Buying Bitcoin from an ATM vs Online Exchange:

Buying online is typically faster and easier than using an ATM, but it comes with some risks. You trust that the exchange will keep your coins safe in their online wallets when you buy online. Remember that exchanges have been hacked in the past, which is why it’s important to only store coins on exchanges that you’re actively trading with. 

However, when you purchase Bitcoin at an ATM, you trade security for convenience. It’s a tough pill to swallow for some, but it’s a trade-off many are willing to make.

Here’s a quick rundown of the pros and cons of buying Bitcoin at an ATM:


  • You can purchase Bitcoin at an ATM without revealing your identity (useful if privacy is a concern for you)
  • ATMs are widely available in most major cities around the world
  • You can buy small amounts of bitcoin with cash. It is excellent for beginners!
  • BTMs are a simpler way to purchase BTC for users who aren’t tech-savvy.


  • Bitcoins bought from ATMs are often more expensive because of the transaction fee that can go up to a 20% fee
  • Transaction limits can be low (some machines only allow you to buy $5-$10 worth of BTC at a time)
  • You may have to drive to a less convenient location to find a BTM
  • Little to no customer support in case of problems
  • You can’t expect a refund in case you accidentally send your BTC to the wrong address.

What Are the Potential Scams When Using a BTM?

When using any cryptocurrency-related service, it’s essential to be aware of potential scams. Here are a few cons that have been known to happen with BTMs:

Hacked Machines:

In some cases, criminals will hack a BTM and place their wallet address on the screen. If you accidentally send your bitcoins to this address, they will be lost forever. It is important to always double-check the wallet address before sending any funds.

Skimming Devices:

Skimmers are devices that can be placed on a BTM to steal credit/debit card information. Check for any unusual devices attached to the machine before inserting your card. The signs to look for are small cameras or loose wires.

Phishing Emails:

Some scams will involve receiving an email that looks like it’s from a BTM company. The email will ask you to click on a link to verify your account or update your information. However, the link will take you to a fake website designed to steal your personal information. Be sure to only click on links from trusted sources.

Bitcoin Withdrawal Limits:

Some machines have limits on how much Bitcoin you can withdraw. For example, a machine may only allow you to withdraw $500 worth of BTC at a time. If you’re looking to buy a larger amount of Bitcoin, you may have to visit multiple machines to get the amount you want. You can also request your operator to increase your withdrawal limit.


Bitcoin automated teller machines are a great way to buy bitcoin without the hassle of an online exchange. However, it is crucial to be aware of the potential scams that could occur. The experts at CryptoBase warn their users not to make purchases on behalf of third parties, as this is how many scams happen. 

But if you use CrytoBase, you can expect excellent customer service and support if any problems occur. Visit their website to learn more.

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