What You Need to Know About Bitcoin ATMs

Author Justin Gilmore

In recent years, cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have seen such a surge in value that investors have been scrambling to buy up as much of it as possible. But because it’s actually a form of currency, bitcoin can also be used to purchase products and services, even at brick-and-mortar businesses. This has led to a rise in blockchain and cryptocurrency ATMs placed in businesses across the country. If your company is set up to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment, here’s what you need to know about bitcoin ATMs.

How They Work

If you’re confused as to how to use a bitcoin ATM, you’re not alone, as most people are still getting familiar with the technology. Bitcoin ATMs work a bit differently than standard cash ATMs, although the concept is similar. Both are basically exchange platforms, but while a cash ATM gives customers cash in exchange for a withdrawal from their bank account, a bitcoin ATM allows them to exchange actual currency for cryptocurrency, either by a cash deposit or with a credit card. After confirming the user’s identity, the ATM finds an exchange platform with the best exchange rate and completes your purchase by transferring bitcoin (or other cryptocurrency) immediately into the person’s digital wallet. He/she may also print out an offline receipt with a code or have a code emailed to them. The customer then presumably uses the cryptocurrency to make a purchase with you, the same as a cash customer would after using a conventional ATM.

Are They Safe?

Given the rise of cybercrime over the past few years, it’s understandable that people might wonder whether bitcoin ATMs are safe to use. The reality is that from a security standpoint, bitcoin ATMs are no different than conventional ATMs — they’re just using a different kind of currency. If you’re comfortable pulling cash out of a regular ATM, you should feel just as comfortable using a cryptocurrency ATM. In fact, the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrency is both transparent and instant, which means every transaction is instantly “seen” and updated across all channels, and all data is preserved in multiple places. This makes blockchain very difficult to hack or manipulate because discrepancies are easy to spot. Thus, from one perspective, bitcoin ATMs may actually be safer to use than cash ATMs.

What Businesses Benefit from Bitcoin ATMs?

Obviously, most companies that operate 100-percent online don’t really need a bitcoin ATM since they can accept cryptocurrency directly online. However, many brick-and-mortar companies now see the value in accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as an alternative type of payment, especially considering how these currencies themselves have exploded in value. In particular, bitcoin ATMs are very useful to marijuana dispensaries since federal law currently stops these businesses from taking credit card payments or depositing cash into banks. However, we’re now seeing bitcoin accepted by major brands like Subway all the way down to mom-and-pop pizza joints. Bottom line, if your company accepts bitcoin, you can increase your sales by making a bitcoin ATM available to your customers. To learn more about how this exciting technology can work for you, call National ATM Wholesale at 1-866-295-2329.