What is a bitcoin ATM and how does it work?

*This article was originally published on June 2, 2021, but was updated on April 11, 2023 to reflect current information.

As bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rise in popularity among investors, new and improved ways to buy and sell it safely and conveniently have been popping up all around. In fact, your local convenience store may have recently added a bitcoin ATM. What are bitcoin ATMs exactly and how do they work?

What is a bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATMs are automated teller machines that allow you to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Much like the ATMs you see at a bank, bitcoin ATMs receive and dispense cash. However, unlike traditional ATMs, you do not need a bank account to use one. 

Bitcoin ATMs make buying and selling cryptocurrency easy and fast by converting your cash to crypto in a few simple steps. Bitcoin ATMs don't require any extensive expertise, making them an excellent choice for first-time crypto buyers and advanced users alike! You can find our ATMs in retail businesses like convenience shops, grocery stores, gas stations, and more. 

Before heading to a bitcoin ATM:

  • You will need a crypto wallet - A crypto wallet or a digital wallet allows you to safely store and access your cryptocurrency. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned crypto expert looking to buy bitcoin or ethereum at the ATM, we recommend using a self-custodial wallet like Olliv.

  • Find your closet location -  Finding your nearest CoinFlip by Olliv ATM location is easy! All it takes is three steps. Head to our online ATM Finder, enter your zip code or location, and your closest bitcoin ATM will appear along with information about the site, including hours of operation, contact information, and directions. If you are looking to sell cryptocurrency, be sure to select the "buy and sell" filter when searching for your closest location. 

How bitcoin ATMs work

Bitcoin ATMs make converting cash to cryptocurrencies easy and fast. 

How to buy bitcoin at a bitcoin ATM

  1. Once you've arrived at the bitcoin ATM, you must first select the cryptocurrency you would like to buy. If you are looking to purchase bitcoin, select bitcoin. 

  2. Accept the terms and conditions and select if you would like to buy less than $900 or more than $900 worth of crypto.

  3. Enter your name and phone number. 

  4. Scan your crypto wallet's QR code address.

  5. Insert cash. 

After you insert your cash, the total amount of bitcoin you will receive in your crypto wallet will be displayed on the screen. All transaction fees are included in the price of the cryptocurrency sold. 

How to sell bitcoin at a bitcoin ATM

  1. Find your closest location that supports buys and sells by using the filter on our ATM location finder

  2. Select if you would like to sell bitcoin or litecoin.

  3. Accept the terms and conditions and select if you would like to sell less than $900 or greater than $900.

  4. Enter your name and phone number. 

  5. Select the amount you would like to sell. Depending on the machine, you will only be able to sell in increments of $20 or $100.

  6. Scan your crypto wallet's QR code address on the machine.

  7. Wait for the network confirmation and redeem your cash.

Do bitcoin ATMs require ID?

  • Transactions below $900 require only a name and a mobile phone number.

  • Transactions exceeding $900 require additional identification.

What kind of fees does a bitcoin ATM charge?

Most bitcoin ATMs charge incredibly high fees - with some charging more than 25% per transaction. 

With CoinFlip by Olliv, you can rest assured you are getting low fees. 

  • The fee for purchasing crypto from CoinFlip by Olliv bitcoin ATMs is up to approximately 15.99%. 

  • The fee for selling crypto across all CoinFlip by Olliv bitcoin ATMs is 4.99%.

  • The blockchain has its own fluctuating fee given to the network miners as a reward for processing transactions. You will also be charged this network fee, which is a minimum network fee of $2.49 for all bitcoin purchases and a variable fee for other token purchases. The variable fee is determined by how busy the blockchain is.

Sign up for a free Olliv account and begin your crypto journey today.