The market for bitcoin is always growing because of its lack of inflation. In fact, between 2021 and 2026, it’s expected to grow at an annual level of around 8.3%. As you might imagine, this growth makes it a worthwhile investment since you can sell it for more later.
If you’re new to cryptocurrency exchange and investing, you likely have no idea where to access crypto. Luckily, bitcoin ATMs make it easy for even newbie investors to begin collecting bitcoin and funneling it into their virtual wallets. Read on to learn about these machines and what they can do for you!
What Are Bitcoin ATMs?
Finding and investing in bitcoin used to be a challenge. People would often need to mine bitcoin to get a little bit in exchange. This was a time-consuming and expensive process that gave miners very little gain.
The other longtime alternative to mining was purchasing bitcoin from online exchanges. At worst, this wasn’t 100% secure and caused data breaches. At best, it was simply an inconvenient and inefficient way of getting bitcoin. Sometimes it would take a week or more to obtain the bitcoin that was previously purchased.
Bitcoin ATMs are a much faster, more convenient, and more secure alternative to both mining and online exchanges.
These ATMs are a basic technology at which you can exchange fiat currency for bitcoin. You insert bills into these machines and they deposit the equivalent of this money into your bitcoin wallet. This is a fast and efficient way to access something that used to be difficult to get ahold of.
Where Can You Find One?
You may think that bitcoin ATMs are too niche to be in mainstream locations, but this is far from the case. Almost every bank has some form of bitcoin ATM. This is true regardless of your provider- if your local branch doesn’t have a bitcoin ATM, ask the tellers if there’s one at the main branch.
However, these machines aren’t limited to financial institutions. You can also search for a location near you in a retail shop or gas station. Essentially, bitcoin ATMs are in all of the locations that regular ATMs often make their homes.
How Do They Work?
Bitcoin ATMs are extremely easy to operate. You’ll need:
- A state-issued ID (a driver’s license is perfect)
- The QR code for your bitcoin eWallet
- Some cash
Go up to the machine and scan your ID to prove that you’re who you say you are. Don’t worry about security, though- the machine will immediately delete the image as soon as it verifies that your ID is legit.
You can then scan your QR code to link the ATM to your bitcoin eWallet. When you do, the machine will know where to redirect your funds when you buy bitcoin. Like with your ID, the ATM will delete the QR code as soon as your session has ended to keep your money safe.
Insert cash and then wait for the bitcoin equivalent to appear in your eWallet. The deposit will be immediate- it’ll take less than 5 minutes. Once you see the bitcoin appear, sign out of your session. You’re done!
You can also trade bitcoin for government-issued currency at these machines. Just enter the amount of cash you want to withdrawal rather than inserting cash to buy bitcoin. The cryptocurrency equivalent of your cash withdrawal will be removed from the eWallet with the scanned QR code.
What Are Their Benefits?
One of the main benefits of bitcoin ATMs is their accessibility. As long as you have an ID and the ability to get to a gas station or store, you can exchange cash for bitcoin. This is ideal because you can then benefit from secure and untraceable online transactions that protect your personal information.
However, the advantages aren’t limited to the digital world. Major credit card companies like Visa and Mastercard now offer debit cards onto which bitcoin can be loaded. You can swipe these cards in stores that accept payments from that credit card company.
The withdrawal will be in bitcoin from your account. The stores, however, will receive the equivalent of this bitcoin in fiat currency. This is awesome since it lets you reap crypto benefits without exposing the store to risks that may come with accepting bitcoin.
The Ability to Invest
Earlier, we noted that bitcoin’s value is growing at a rate of 8.3% annually. If you purchased $100 worth of bitcoin today, you would have $108.3 next year. 10 years down the line, you would have the equivalent of $183 in that account.
On the flip side, if you were to put $100 in a traditional bank, it would only accrue 0.06% in interest at best. In 10 years, you would have 6 cents. That’s not just less- it’s significantly less.
Accessible bitcoin from bitcoin ATMs doesn’t just give you the ability to spend safely but also to save wisely. When you invest in bitcoin, you accrue far more money over a short about of time. You then can sell bitcoin later for more than you purchased it for.
More on Cryptocurrency
Now that you know what bitcoin ATMs are and why they’re awesome, it’s time to start saving. Check out the rest of our website for some tips and tricks on how to manage money.
Our ‘resources’ section specifically has checklists and articles about budgeting. You can apply these tips to both your physical finances and your cryptocurrency eWallet, so make sure that you think about your bitcoins in terms of what they’re worth. Start browsing today and up your financial game.