In the past year, cryptocurrency adoption rates have risen by a full 881%. The most popular digital currency, Bitcoin, is a worldwide phenomenon that makes investments and purchases easy. It’s extremely versatile and connects people across the globe and helps investors to diversify with a low-risk investment.
If you’re looking to access crypto, using a Bitcoin machine is the best way to invest. But what exactly are these machines? Why should you invest in Bitcoin in the first place?
Read on to answer these questions and to learn more about the state of cryptocurrency as we move into 2022.
What Is Bitcoin?
Before you can understand how a Bitcoin ATM works, it’s important to first define the concept of Bitcoin. It’s basically a completely decentralized digital currency that isn’t associated with any government. This lack of government regulation, along with the fact that it’s a universal currency, distinguishes it from USD and other fiat currencies.
Bitcoin exists on something called the blockchain. This online network is essentially a ledger made from complex mathematical codes that seal off and record completed Bitcoin transactions. Each bitcoin transaction is a block and the blockchain is made from multiple transactions strung together.
Because Bitcoin currently isn’t regulated by any government, it’s considered by US officials to be an asset. It’s a property in the same way that a house or a car is. It, therefore, is subject to capital gains taxes rather than income or sales tax.
Why is this appealing?
This is one of the reasons that Bitcoin appeals to both investors and spenders. It’s a private way to complete transactions without giving out personal information. Sellers can’t trace where the transaction was made due to its decentralized nature.
They also don’t need any personal or financial information from you in order to complete a purchase. In many cases, people feel safer when spending Bitcoin than fiat currency because they know that there’s nothing for hackers or malware to steal online.
Bitcoin is also appealing because of its convenience. There are no physical bitcoins- everything is completely virtual.
In many situations, you can access your eWallet simply by scanning the QR code. You can also link the eWallet securely to the websites that you plan to purchase from. There’s no need for additional action or verification, which means that you don’t need to worry about waiting to make purchases.
What Is a Bitcoin Machine?
A Bitcoin ATM is a machine where you can easily and conveniently access Bitcoin. These kiosks are similar to regular ATMs because you can get cash from them as well as deposit Bitcoin into an e-wallet. The difference lies in that you will work with cryptocurrency and cash rather than a fiat currency bank account and cash.
These machines are found in many locations all across the US. You can likely access and use one at your regular bank. However, it isn’t even necessary for you to go there since they’re in many grocery stores and gas stations as well.
Use an online bitcoin machine locator to find your nearest location. Bring a photo ID, the QR code for your Bitcoin Wallet, and some cash. You then are ready to complete a transaction.
Buying crypto at a bitcoin ATM
There are two basic types of transactions that you can complete at a Bitcoin ATM. The first is buying Bitcoin.
To exchange cash for crypto, you first need to go to the kiosk and scan your photo ID. A driver’s license is ideal and generally accessible, but you can use any government-issued identification to begin your session. Don’t worry about security- the ATM won’t save your photo or information.
This step is simply to verify that you are who you say you are. It links your identity to your eWallet to ensure that you’re the person using the kiosk. The aim is to protect you and the assets within your eWallet account.
The QR code for this eWallet is the next thing that you need to scan. This will link the account to the machine so that you can deposit funds into it. Most people choose to pull up this QR code on their smartphone, but some people prefer to print it out.
After scanning, it’s time to actually complete the transaction. Insert the cash that you want to convert to Bitcoin and wait for the corresponding amount of crypto to appear in your eWallet. This should happen within 5 minutes or so.
Log off the machine and leave the kiosk. Any information that you entered during the session will be lost. You’re done!
But what if you want to perform the opposite transaction? That’s the second function of a Bitcoin ATM: selling Bitcoin for cash.
Selling bitcoin for cash at a Kiosk
This transaction starts the same way as a deposit. Scan your ID and your eWallet QR code. However, at this point, you’re going to select the desire to withdraw rather than make a deposit.
You can then enter the amount of cash that you want to receive from the machine. It will give it to you immediately and remove the corresponding amount of Bitcoin from your eWallet. Just like with a deposit, this transaction will take under 5 minutes.
Note that most machines only let you deposit and withdraw cash. This is for your protection since unauthorized users won’t have access to your bank account (and can’t steal all of your money by converting it to crypto). There are also usually ATM withdrawal and deposit limits to keep you safe, but many limits are as high as $3000 daily.
Why is this the best way to buy and sell crypto?
As you likely know, there are other ways to buy and sell cryptocurrency. Since these methods have been around for much longer than Bitcoin ATMs, you likely are wondering what sets the machines apart.
In-person trades are possible but are almost never feasible. Unless you know someone in real life, you’d need to take to an online forum and find someone looking to buy or sell. This is a time-consuming process and is generally fruitless.
This also would limit you to trading in your area. Since Bitcoin is a global phenomenon, you’re really restricting your options when you do this. Plus, since some people in other countries would pay more for Bitcoin due to exchange rates, you might lose out on potential cash.
Online exchanges vs bitcoin machines
The most common method of trading Bitcoin is via an online exchange. You sign up for these online sites and link your eWallet to them. You enter in your intention to either buy or sell, it links you with someone looking to perform the opposite transaction, and you buy and sell instantly, automatically, and anonymously.
However, this is unappealing to many Bitcoin enthusiasts because of the lack of control. You don’t get to choose who you’re buying from or selling to, which can be anxiety-inducing for some crypto enthusiasts. Since you don’t know who’s on the other hand, getting jilted is possible.
Although these sites are regulated, they don’t have the same level of protection as professionally operated Bitcoin ATMs do. Experts work with crypto machines while anyone can work for and monitor a Bitcoin exchange.
Additionally, online exchanges generally take around a week for the transaction to finalize. This is a week of waiting for you to receive the funds that you’re due. Not only is this inconvenient, but it also can create anxiety about whether or not you’ve been duped.
Bitcoin ATMs provide you with a transaction that takes less than 5 minutes. This means no frills and no stress.
Direct trades online vs bitcoin machines
Direct trades online are an alternative to exchanging websites. Many people like these better because they pair you with a potential buyer/seller and you can choose whether or not to work with them. These transactions take longer because you need to iron out the specifics, but they allow you more control nonetheless.
Unfortunately, these trades come with the same risks as an exchange. If you work with someone untrustworthy, they can jilt you. Since Bitcoin isn’t traceable, there’s no real way to get back what you’re owed.
Bitcoin ATMs don’t require you to work with another person. Instead, the only person that you need to worry about is a reputable and licensed ATM operator. You can’t possibly be duped out of funds since the machines give you instant money, so you’ll have it immediately upon ending your session.
The benefits of bitcoin
Bitcoin ATMs are convenient and accessible, but why is it a good idea to get Bitcoin in the first place?
First, cryptocurrency is extremely secure. While hackers have a plethora of ways to steal fiat currency from online systems, there’s no true way to bug Bitcoin. Even if malware got at Bitcoin while you were making a transaction, it couldn’t trace it back to you or your identity.
This minimizes the risk of financial theft or the sale of your banking information. It also lowers the possibility of identity theft or the loss of personal data.
Investing and making money
Bitcoin is also a great investment for those looking for a low-risk way to diversify their portfolio. Since the market has been steadily rising and is expected to be worth $2.2 billion in 2026, it’s extremely unlikely that you won’t get a high ROI.
In fact, experts project that Bitcoin’s value is going to increase by around 7.1% per year. If you bought $1000 worth of Bitcoin today, you would have an additional $71 next year. After 10 years you would have made $710 by doing nothing but sitting on the investment.
This is far more lucrative than keeping fiat currency accruing a few cents of interest per year in the bank. Because of crypto’s low risk as an investment, it’s perfect for new investors as well as seasoned ones.
Popularity and spending
Bitcoin is increasing in popularity over time as well as in value. In fact, many experts believe that it could be a bigger deal than fiat currency within the next 10 years.
Even if you don’t buy this theory, millennials are getting more excited about Bitcoin than any previous generation. When young people begin to invest and use crypto, the interest in these currencies can only increase as they put more money into the economy.
Spending Bitcoin in stores is going to be more mainstream in the future, but it already is possible. Major credit card carriers like Visa and Mastercard offer debit cards that allow you to spend Bitcoin in stores as well as online. These cards are useable at any location that accepts debit.
You can use Bitcoin to pay the retailer, but the transaction will be registered in fiat currency. The retailer will get USD and the corresponding amount of Bitcoin will be removed from your eWallet. This is ideal because you can use crypto while the vendor doesn’t need to accept the risks of Bitcoin transactions.
PayPal has also begun to work with Bitcoin. You can transfer money safely to aneWallet and convert it into crypto in the process. This isn’t just simple and convenient but also demonstrates a shift towards Bitcoin in the mainstream world.
Invest in cryptocurrency today
While there are many ways to diversify your portfolio, Bitcoin is one of the best. Not only is it a great investment, but it’s also a great way to make purchases both in stores and online.
Now that you know what a bitcoin machine is and how you can use it, it’s time to get started. Check out the ‘finance’ tab on our home page for more information about cryptocurrency, trends in economics, and more.