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What is a crypto ATM and how does it work?

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*This article was originally published on November 3, 2021, but was updated on April 8, 2023, to reflect current information.

Crypto ATMs have been popping up worldwide to make bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as accessible as possible. For many, converting cash to cryptocurrency at a crypto ATM is the most convenient way to participate in crypto markets securely. They are incredibly simple to use and allow you to make transactions fast, with very minimal onboarding requirements compared to using an exchange.

But, what is a crypto ATM exactly and how does it work? CoinFlip explains everything you need to know about crypto ATMs as a beginner.

What is a crypto ATM?

Crypto ATMs, also known as Bitcoin ATMs, are automated teller machines that allow you to convert your cash into cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ether, dogecoin, and more. Some crypto ATMs also allow you to sell your cryptocurrency for cash.

Crypto ATMs make cryptocurrency easily accessible by making it extremely easy for anyone to buy crypto. All that is required to use a crypto ATM is cash, a crypto wallet, and a phone number, depending on the size of your transaction. Crypto ATMs do not require you to have a bank account, undergo long onboarding processes, or wait excessive amounts of time to buy or sell your crypto

Crypto ATMs are typically found in incredibly convenient locations like corner shops, grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and more. Their accessibility and convenience make crypto ATMs an excellent choice for those making their first crypto purchase or their hundredth. 

Suggested reading: 6 Reasons Why You Should Use a Bitcoin ATM

Are crypto ATMs safe?

Crypto ATMs are the safest way to buy bitcoin with cash and other cryptocurrencies using cash. They tend to be in well-lit areas of shops and restaurants with plenty of staff members nearby. When handling cash, it is essential to be aware of your surroundings and contact customer support immediately if you notice anything suspicious.

Suggested reading: Are Bitcoin ATMs Safe?

How crypto ATMs work

How to buy crypto with cash at a crypto ATM

  1. Select the cryptocurrency you would like to buy

  2. Enter your name and phone number

  3. Scan your crypto wallet's QR code address

  4. 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. 

Suggested Reading: How To Buy Bitcoin From a Bitcoin ATM.

How to sell crypto at a crypto ATM

  1. Find a crypto ATM near you that supports selling by using the filter on our crypto ATM locator

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

  3. Enter your name and phone number

  4. Select the amount you would like to sell

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

  6. Wait for the network confirmation and redeem your cash

Suggested reading: How to Sell Bitcoin for Cash at a Bitcoin ATM

Do crypto ATMs require an ID?

  • Transactions below $900 do not require ID, only a name and a mobile phone number.

  • Transactions exceeding $900 require additional identification.

Suggested reading: What Are CoinFlip’s Bitcoin ATM Limits?

How much are crypto ATM fees?

Crypto ATMs are famous for charging high fees for the convenience of converting cash to crypto, with some charging beyond 20% per transaction. 

CoinFlip, the leading Bitcoin ATM operator, guarantees competitive fees. Our fee to purchase crypto at a crypto ATM is 15.99%, and the fee for selling crypto is 4.99%. On average, CoinFlip charges 30% less in fees than our leading competitors (based on data collected by CoinFlip in February 2023). Each cryptocurrency has its own fee structure, so we charge an additional $2.49 or more depending on network activity to pay to miners.

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What is CoinFlip?

CoinFlip is a leading financial services platform focused on the digital economy. CoinFlip's vast network of crypto ATMs across the United States supports the buying and selling of major cryptocurrencies with cash.

In 2020, CoinFlip launched CoinFlip Preferred, a service that provides investors a personal account manager, competitive coin pricing, and offers recurring investments. The company does not charge hidden fees, cuts typical ATM transaction fees by as much as half, and introduced 24/7 customer support, which has now become an industry standard. 

Headquartered in Chicago, CoinFlip placed 60th on the 2021 Inc. 5000 list as the top-ranked cryptocurrency company, was named the 2021 #1 fastest-growing company in Chicago by Crain's and was awarded the 2021 Silver Stevie ® Award for Customer Service. For more information about CoinFlip, please visit .