How to buy bitcoins at a bitcoin 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 machines 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):

  1. Genesis1 machine from Genesis Coin
  2. Satoshi1 or Satoshi2 machine from Genesis Coin
  3. Lamassu
  4. General Bytes BATMTwo (one-way)
  5. General Bytes BATMThree (two-way)
  6. BitAccess

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 the deposit
  • 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 a machine’s software/hardware support compliance procedures, they are not necessarily activated, as it depends on the operator 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)

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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 a 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

And here is an example of how a similar machine can be used without verifications (if an 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

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.

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Satoshi1

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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 the 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

Lamassu

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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”
  • The 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).

 

General Bytes BATMTwo

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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 existing wallet the user can define email, where the encrypted private keys of a newly generated address will be sent with further instructions 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”

General Bytes BATMThree

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his 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.

BitAccess

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The 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