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A Simple User’s Guide to Bitcoin ATMs

There are now more than 10,000 Bitcoin ATMs, aka BTMs, in the world — more than three-quarters of which are installed in the United States.

The first Bitcoin ATM was installed in 2013. That’s seven years between the first Bitcoin ATM installation and the ten-thousandth, compared with the nine years it took banks to do the same with regular ATMs in the 1970s.

What Are BTMs?

Most people think of Bitcoin as an asset people invest in long-term or trade in the markets short-term through brokers and exchanges. But it is also used as a currency to buy consumer goods and services. That has driven the rise of BTMs, which are literally automated teller machines for Bitcoin instead of government-issued currency.

At any BTM, you can buy Bitcoin with regular cash. At some BTMs, you can also sell Bitcoin in exchange for cash. Additionally, most BTMs will let you insert cash to send as Bitcoin to another recipient’s account or Bitcoin wallet.

How to Find BTMs

You’ll often find a BTM standing alongside a regular ATM kiosk. These are appearing with increasing frequency in gas stations and convenience stores across the country.

To find all the BTMs in an area, you can use one of the many Bitcoin ATM maps to search.

Not all BTM networks are alike, with some offering much better customer service than others. Research networks carefully to find the ones that will serve you best. Then be sure the BTMs you find support your chosen network or networks.

How BTMs Work

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