Wait, a Bitcoin ATM? You have got to be kidding me!
You may have a Bitcoin at a local gas station near you and not even know it. The Bitcoin ATM (also known as Bitcoin Teller Machines, or BTMs) is similar to the traditional ATM except that instead of withdrawing fiat currency such as U.S. dollars it allows you to receive the popular cyrptocurrency known as Bitcoins.
The way it works according to bitaccess, (the current leader in producing the machines), is that the user inserts cash into the machine and instantly receive a digital wallet containing the equivalent in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, or exchange Bitcoin for traditional currency. The company already has over 6,000 BTMs in Canada alone.
BTMs are also beginning to pop up at gas stations around the United States and are even beginning to be installed in Las Vegas hotels and casinos. The U.S. now has over 700 BTMs according to coinatmradar.com. Places like New York City and Los Angeles have 100 machines already. Dallas has 25. What if you live in places like Boise or Wichita? Not to worry as you have one too.
In order to obtain the Bitcoins, you will need to setup a digital wallet first. I recommend doing so through Coinbase for several reasons which can be found by clicking here. Once you have your digital wallet, you can access the machines and complete transactions. There are a few drawbacks, however. Currently the machines are charging fees of up to 7% which is considerably more than what you find with a traditional ATM. Another issue is that the exchange rates are known to be significantly higher than what you could find online elsewhere.
In the past 30 days, Bitcoin’s price has increased by $781 (63%) to $2032 per coin. With the recent explosion in Bitcoin price, it is good to have the BTM as an option. As price volatility continues to increase, the flexibilty and convenience of these BTMs might make them very successful.