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BUY BITCOIN WITH CASH

How to buy bitcoins at a bitcoin ATM

You may be also interested in the instructions on how to sell bitcoins using ATM.

In order to buy bitcoins using a bitcoin ATM, you need to find the closest to your location and understand what kind of machine it is. Asking yourself where is closest bitcoin ATM near me? To find all locations – visit our bitcoin machine map. At the moment there are about 30 different types of bitcoin ATMs with about 20 manufacturers having their units actually installed somewhere. It may be difficult for an average user to understand how to buy bitcoins by using a bitcoin ATM and what are the differences among various ATMs.

 

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In this article, we describe a bitcoin purchase process for 6 different mostly installed bitcoin ATMs in the world (they cover about 90% of the market altogether) and two more types, which were popular before and now are rarely used (Skyhook and Robocoin):

General

There is a general buy process at all bitcoin ATMs:

  • Verification step (optional and may vary substantially depending on machine’s type)
  • Provide bitcoin address for a deposit (optionally can be generated and printed/emailed at some ATMs on the fly, but better to have your own with you before using a machine)
  • Insert cash into the ATM
  • Confirm operation (bitcoins sent to your bitcoin address at this moment)

This process may vary from ATM to ATM, and this is what we describe for every of the mentioned above bitcoin ATM types.  It is important to understand that even when the machine’s software/hardware supports compliance procedures, they are not necessarily activated, as it depends on the operator’s choice of every particular machine. That is why the same type of machine might have different verifications and limits set up.


Genesis1 bitcoin machine (Genesis Coin)

genesis1

Genesis1

San-Diego based company Genesis Coin produces three types of ATMs: Genesis1 (two-way), Satoshi1 (one-way) and Satoshi2 (two-way). The process of purchasing bitcoins may have a verification procedure, in this case:

  • Click “Buy Bitcoins”
  • Provide mobile number
  • Enter received validation code
  • Scan fingerprint
  • Select coin (this type of machine may support not only Bitcoin but also Litecoin, Dogecoin, Blackcoin, XCurrency)
  • Choose to scan wallet (pre-defined) or generate new
  • Scan wallet QR code if chosen
  • Insert cash bills
  • Click send
  • Get printed receipt

The process is demonstrated in the following video:

And here is an example of how a similar machine can be used without verifications (if the operator chooses to do so):

  • Click “Buy Bitcoin”
  • Choose coin (e.g. Bitcoin)
  • Choose scan QR
  • Scan QR of the wallet
  • Insert cash bills
  • Press “Finish”
  • Take printed receipt

Here is a short video:

You can read a review of a user who purchased bitcoins from a Genesis1 machine at Fantastico Comic Store in Mexico City.

Satoshi1 and Satoshi2 bitcoin ATM models (Genesis Coin)

Satoshi1 is a one-way ATM model from Genesis Coin producer. So you can only buy bitcoins from this machine for cash. Satoshi2 is a very similar looking unit, but it has a dispenser slot and allows both buy and sell bitcoin transactions. However, buying bitcoins is identical to both of them.

satoshi1

 

Satoshi1

satoshi2

Satoshi2

The process flow is identified as the one for Genesis1, we just looked at. But here is an example of how bitcoins can be purchased at this machine:

  • Choose “buy bitcoin”
  • Choose the amount you want to buy (usually the higher the amount, the more verifications you need to do. Important! The limits and verification procedures are set by the operator and can be different on the same type of machines at different locations, they might even be omitted)
  • Enter the phone number using ATM pin pad, get SMS code and enter the received code
  • Then there are several options on the screen how you want to provide an address where bitcoins to be sent: choose QR code if you have a wallet already (recommended), you can also generate and print an address by machine, or just input your address manually.
  • Then scan QR code of your address, and input cash bills
  • Click Finish when you are ready, and bitcoins will be sent to you immediately
  • In the end, you can print the receipt about the transaction or get it emailed to you

The process is demonstrated here:

You can also read an independent review of the user using Satoshi1 bitcoin ATM to purchase bitcoins at Marina Smoke Shop in Huntington Beach, CA.

Lamassu

lamassu

 

Lamassu

This is the second most installed Bitcoin machine in the world after Genesis Coin models (as of February 2017). Lamassu Bitcoin ATMs are installed in many countries worldwide.

The process of purchasing bitcoins is very simple:

  • Press “Start”
  • Scan QR code of your pre-defined Bitcoin address
  • Put cash into the machine
  • Press “Send”

Important!  There is no paper wallet printer at this machine, so you need to have a Bitcoin wallet/address before using it (either on your phone or printed on paper).

The machine doesn’t have a camera and normally there are no verification procedures in place. However, as it operates based on open source code software, some operators adjusted the flow and introduced verifications, e.g. phone number check by SMS (you need to find out what is the process at your location).

The process takes 15 seconds and is demonstrated in the following video:

Read a review of the user experience of buying bitcoins at one of Lamassu bitcoin ATMs.

General Bytes BATMTwo

generalbytes

 

General Bytes

General Bytes ATM may be set up to provide services to:

  • anonymous users
  • anonymous users + fingerprint scan
  • registered users

Depending on how the operator sets up the machine the process is different.

Also, this Bitcoin ATM does not have a receipt printer, but additionally to the option of using an existing wallet the user can define email, where the encrypted private keys of a newly generated address will be sent with further instructions on how to use it. The process of buying bitcoins using your email is the following:

  • Choose language
  • Click “Buy Bitcoins”
  • Define the amount interval you want to buy (depending on this verification procedures may vary)
  • Choose to receive by email
  • Save password which will be used to encrypt the sent file
  • Insert cash bills
  • Click “Buy Bitcoins”
  • Click “Done”

The process is demonstrated in the following video:

Here is a short video of purchasing bitcoins with this ATM using standard way (existing wallet):

General Bytes BATMThree

BATMThree

This is a new model introduced by General Bytes at the beginning of 2015. The main difference is that this machine supports two-way operations: buying and selling of bitcoins for cash. More details about this model can be found here.

The process of buying bitcoins at this machine is quite similar to the one at BATMTwo, but the UI is different. Here are the steps:

  • You click “Buy bitcoins” on the screen
  • Define the interval in which the amount you want to buy falls
  • If you have a wallet already – then scan it, otherwise, you can print a brand new paper wallet, which you can scan
  • Insert cash bills and information will update on the screen
  • Click Buy bitcoins and the equivalent in BTC will be sent to the scanned address.

Depending on the operator and thresholds set, you can be asked to confirm the mobile number by SMS, give fingerprint or scan your ID.

The following video demonstrates the basic purchase bitcoins process at this machine:

BitAccess

bitaccess

BitAccess

BitAccess machine is quite spread on the market according to the number of installations. It is well represented in Canada, the US and European countries.

The process of buying bitcoins using this ATM is the following:

  • Choose language
  • Press “Start”
  • Enter mobile number
  • Receive the validation code and enter it
  • Select “Buy Bitcoins”
  • Choose whether you already have a Bitcoin wallet (yes – scan it later, no – generate and print new one)
  • Scan QR code
  • Insert cash bills
  • Click “I’m done”
  • Bitcoins are sent and you receive confirmation SMS
  • Optionally you can print a receipt as well

The process is demonstrated in this video:

Skyhook

skyhook

Skyhook

This was the most compact and cheap bitcoin ATM on the market. However, presumably due to low prices, the company could not survive long term and abandoned the market at the beginning of 2015 by practically eliminating any support and delaying deliveries. As a result, the number of these machines on the market reduced dramatically. There are still some in the wild, but not many. Due to hardware and software issues, these machines are difficult to operate, and they are removed from locations.

The process of buying bitcoins via this machine is pretty similar to the one above for Lamassu:

  • Touch screen to begin
  • Scan QR of your bitcoin wallet
  • Verify that the address is correct
  • Insert cash bills
  • Click “Buy bitcoins”
  • Enter the email address where the receipt will be sent or click “Done” to finish

As there is no printer in this machine, you need to have a bitcoin address beforehand. The process of buying bitcoins using Skyhook bitcoin ATM is illustrated in this video:


Robocoin

robocoin

Robocoin

UPD: The company producing these bitcoin machines has closed and now there are several machines left installed at various locations, but due to lack of software support they were required to switch to another software. Many operators have used software from General Bytes named Robocoin-kit, which means that although the hardware and how the machine looks stays the same, the process of purchasing bitcoins has changed totally and now is identical to the one of a two-way General Bytes model.

This is how the old process of buying bitcoins at Robocoin kiosk looked before:

This was a controversy bitcoin machine in the Bitcoin community as it had quite advanced verification procedures, about which users usually complained about different forums. Machine supported verification procedures including the palm vein scan, but not necessarily it was activated by operators.

The process of buying bitcoins at this ATM was split into two main steps: very first visit (account registration process is more complicated) and all the rest purchases (account is already created, the process is simpler and faster).

If you had not used the machine before, during the first visit you needed to create an account with Robocoin. Since November 2014 Robocoin made a mandatory update of all operators’ kiosks. After this, if you used a Robocoin software – you needed to use a Robocoin wallet (aka version 2.0). For creating one the following steps were needed to be completed:

  • Click “Get started”
  • Enter mobile (also will be your account)
  • Confirm mobile by entering the received verification code
  • Create and provide PIN code (enter twice to verify)
  • Scan government-issued ID or passport (by entering it into slot or scanning with a camera)
  • Take a picture of yourself

After this, the kiosk confirmed the provided data and your account was created.

Here is a short video demonstrating the registration process:

Since this moment on, the account with Robocoin was already created and all the transactions were faster, namely for buying bitcoins you needed:

  • Enter phone number
  • Enter secret PIN code
  • Scan palm vein (1 time)
  • Scan QR code for your Bitcoin wallet or generate a new one (printed by machine)
  • Get wallet private key printed (in case generated by machine)
  • Input cash bills
  • Click “Finish”
  • Take receipt
  • Get SMS with notification about the transaction

The process is illustrated in the following videos:

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You can find the nearest bitcoin ATM to you using our bitcoin ATM map.