When it comes to Bitcoin ATM locations, there are a few benefits that come with living close to one. Read about them here in this overview.
Did you know that in the United States, 34 million adults will own cryptocurrency by the end of 2022? Of those who already do, 25 million own Bitcoin (BTC). BTC, in turn, was the first-ever cryptocurrency invented.
With such a high ownership and user rate, it’s no wonder Bitcoin ATM locations have increased. Today, there are now at least 34,000 of these electronic kiosks worldwide. Over 90% of those machines are in the U.S. alone (over 30,000 ATMs), while Canada is home to 2,200+.
Because of their explosive growth, it’s very likely some Bitcoin ATMs are near your home or office.
Why exactly should you care, though? What benefits do these machines even provide?
To that end, we created this guide listing the top perks and pros of having cryptocurrency ATMs near you. Read on to discover what they are and why you should consider using them.
You Can Remain Unbanked
The latest federal statistics say that there were 4.5% unbanked U.S. households in 2021. That translates to an estimated 5.9 million families. “Unbanked” means no one in their household had an account with a bank or a credit union.
Some households say they’re unbanked because they don’t meet the minimum balance requirements. However, many also say it’s because they don’t trust banks. Others cite privacy reasons for not having a bank or credit union account.
One of the main reasons behind the mistrust in banks is that some have historically “shared” data. For example, they’ve shared personal consumer information with their marketing affiliates.
Another reason is that some financial institutions have become infamous for discriminatory practices. For instance, some have had a history of rejecting minorities for mortgages.
So if you have trust issues with banks or credit unions, you may want to use that Bitcoin ATM near you. It lets you remain unbanked yet allows you to buy, sell, or send crypto.
Buy Crypto With Cash
Crypto brokers and exchanges are online platforms that allow you to buy crypto. Most require registration, wherein buyers must create an account with the platform. Many of them also mandate identity verification for fraud prevention and regulatory requirements.
After that, you can deposit money into your crypto account by linking your bank account with it. You may also authorize a wire transfer. Some brokers and exchanges also allow payments via debit or credit cards.
Before buying crypto using credit cards, note that your issuers may treat it as a cash advance. In this case, expect exorbitant rates; in the U.S., the average cash advance annual percentage rate is over 27%. Your card issuer may also charge other fees for using its cash advance services.
By contrast, Bitcoin ATMs let you buy Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with cash.
You may still need to register with Bitcoin ATM operators. However, you don’t need to give them your bank account info.
For instance, according to the guide you can find here, you can feed hard cash into a crypto ATM. Afterward, you can select the crypto you want to buy and complete the transaction.
If you don’t have cash but are a banked person, withdraw from an in-network bank ATM. That lets you avoid non-network fees ranging from $2.00 to $3.50. You can then use that money to buy crypto directly from the Bitcoin ATM near you.
Complete Crypto Transactions Quickly
Completing transactions made via crypto brokers and exchanges can take a few days. Likewise, your payment method, such as using a bank account, affects the timeline. Bank accounts, which require bank approval, usually take the longest.
If you live near a Bitcoin ATM location, lucky you; you don’t have to wait that long. In most cases, these machines take minutes to process transactions. While they can sometimes take up to an hour, that’s still better than waiting for days.
Immediate Transactions Protect Against Volatility
Cryptocurrencies are so volatile their prices can dramatically go up and down in a day. A perfect example is when Bitcoin’s value dropped by a staggering 30% in just one day. Other types of crypto, such as Ethereum (ETH), Tether (USDT), and Litecoin (LTC), are also so volatile.
That volatility can affect your transactions if you use traditional brokers and exchanges. After all, they use the exchange rates at the time of your cryptocurrency purchase. So, if BTC’s value goes up by 20% right after you sell some, you miss out on that increase.
Bitcoin ATMs complete transactions immediately, therefore protecting you somewhat against that volatility.
Turn Your Crypto Into Cash
Another perk of living near a Bitcoin ATM is it lets you turn your crypto into cold, hard cash anytime. It involves converting some of your cryptocurrencies into fiat currency by selling them.
Note that only bi-directional Bitcoin ATMs support cryptocurrency withdrawals. These machines allow you to buy and sell crypto for cash. On the other hand, most unidirectional ATMs only support crypto purchases.
So the next time you see or find a Bitcoin ATM near your home or office, check if it’s bi-directional. If it is, you can use it to buy, sell, or even send crypto.
Send or Receive Crypto for Emergencies
Over half of Americans don’t have half enough cash to cover a sudden $1,000 expense.
If you, a family member, or a friend is in such an emergency, you can use a Bitcoin ATM nearby to send or withdraw money.
For example, if it’s you in a pinch, someone can send you crypto, and you can then withdraw it in cash using a Bitcoin ATM.
Conversely, you can deposit money into a nearby Bitcoin ATM and send it to another crypto account. The machine converts it into your chosen crypto. The recipient can then use a crypto ATM near them to withdraw it in fiat currency.
Another option is to send some of your existing cryptocurrencies to a recipient. The machine deducts that from your crypto account. It then sends the appropriate amount to the recipient’s cryptocurrency account.
Once sent, the recipient can withdraw it in cash using a Bitcoin ATM near them.
Word of warning, though: Please never send crypto to someone you don’t know.
Likewise, please confirm that the person making the request is a family member or a friend. For example, they may only be claiming to be someone you know when, in fact, they’ve stolen that person’s phone. They may have also hijacked your loved one’s online account.
To prevent getting scammed, give the intended recipient a video call first. You can then ask them if they’ve requested you to send them money.
No Need to Wait for Banking Days
Some crypto ATMs operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Others have shorter business times but are still often open throughout the weekends.
Compare that to most banks and credit unions that close during weekends. Moreover, they don’t operate during the 13 federal holidays (AKA “bank holidays), either.
So if you’re near a Bitcoin ATM, use it to your advantage and buy, send, sell, or withdraw anytime.
Invest in More Than Just BTC
Although called “Bitcoin ATMs,” these kiosks let you buy and sell other types of crypto aside from BTC.
So you know, experts say over 20,000 cryptocurrencies are in circulation today. Aside from those mentioned above, there’s Dogecoin (DOGE), Shiba Inu (SHIB), and Binance Coin (BNB), to name a few. Like all other cryptocurrencies, they’re also volatile.
That volatility is also what makes investing in various cryptocurrencies a wise move. It can help minimize losses if one of your crypto investments’ value plunges.
Since Bitcoin ATMs let you buy and sell other types of crypto, they can help expand your crypto portfolio. That’s an excellent reason to locate a Bitcoin ATM if you plan to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Ease of Monitoring Crypto Prices
All Bitcoin ATM operators charge operator fees and, sometimes, miner fees.
Operator fees usually include the costs of operating the ATM. For example, they may cover the rent for the space occupied by the machine, the software, and the hardware. Compliance and support expenses are also typically part of these fees.
Miner fees are like financial rewards paid to miners who validate cryptocurrency transactions. Without them, crypto purchases and sales are unlikely to push through.
Operator and miner fees can range from 10% to 20% per ATM transaction. However, because of the volatility of cryptocurrencies, they can change anytime.
The good news is that reputable Bitcoin ATM operators don’t hide that fact. Instead, they immediately update their rates as the values of cryptocurrencies change. Furthermore, they display these changes in all their electronic kiosks.
Reliable Bitcoin ATM operators also include information on all the fees they charge. For example, they may tell you how much of your transaction would go to miners. Some ATM operators even shoulder miner fees on behalf of their users.
So, if you live near Bitcoin ATM locations, you can track the ever-changing crypto prices.
Make Strategic Crypto Transactions
If you can stay up-to-date on the latest cryptocurrency prices, you can buy when they’re low. And when their values skyrocket, you can sell some of them to make profits.
Since living near a Bitcoin ATM gives you that access, you can time your crypto transactions well. Furthermore, their immediacy lets you take advantage of dipping or rising crypto prices.
Support Business Owners in Your Area
When you use a Bitcoin ATM near you, you may also be helping out the small business hosting the machine.
Remember the rent included in the Bitcoin ATM fees we talked about earlier? That goes to the owner of the space that houses the machine, which, in this case, might be a mom-and-pop store. So by using these ATMs, you contribute to the growth of these smaller establishments.
Local Bitcoin ATMs also drive more traffic to local businesses. For example, suppose the kiosk is inside a convenience store. After buying or selling crypto, you and other ATM users may purchase something from that shop.
Reserve Cash for Bitcoin ATM Withdrawals
Some Bitcoin ATMs allow users to reserve cash they’d want to withdraw on a specific date. You can usually do this using the crypto ATM’s mobile wallet app. So if you’re okay creating an account with them, it can be a perk as the operator guarantees the cash you need.
ATMs Near Each Other Have Competitive Rates
The higher the concentration of Bitcoin ATMs in an area, the more competitive the rates can be. After all, these ATMs compete for users; to do that, they have to offer perks, such as lower ATM fees. Others provide discounts, such as 20% off for using an ATM for the first time.
So before using the first ATM you see near your house or office, check if there are other kiosks nearby. Note their operator’s names, and look them up online later to see if they have transparent pricing.
It also pays to check Bitcoin ATM reviews online, especially about uptimes. If they’re constantly experiencing downtimes, it’s best to take your business elsewhere.
Don’t forget to search for discount coupons and codes the ATM operator offers. Sometimes, all you need to get these promotional offers is to sign up for their newsletter. Others may require you to create an account with them but only ask for a few basic personal details.
Time to Find More Bitcoin ATM Locations
As you can see, living near one or more Bitcoin ATM locations can provide ease of access to your crypto. Some even let you make transactions even during weekends and holidays. Plus, many allow you to buy, sell, and send BTC and other types of crypto during emergencies.
Just remember that Bitcoin ATM fees vary from one machine to another. Thus, always compare them first to find those with the lowest charges.
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