How to Buy Bitcoin at a Crypto ATM

Before using a crypto ATM there are few things you should understand about the machines. For example, some machines only allow you to buy bitcoins with cash were other machines allow you to exchange back and forth. Some allow you to buy multiple tokens whereas some machine limit your option to just purchasing bitcoin.

At the moment, there are 30 different types of crypto ATMs that span the globe. It may be difficult for a first time user to understand how these ATMs operate and how they differentiate so we will cover general information and the purchase processes for 6 different crypto ATMs. These 6 brands cover a little less than 90% of all crypto ATMs.

For information about how to sell bitcoin/cryptocurrency using ATMs visit this page for a step by step guide.

 

General Information

Some information is true of all the crypto ATMs:

  • Verification step (optional and may vary substantially depending on machine type)
  • Provide bitcoin address for deposit (optionally can be generation and printed/emailed at some ATMs, we suggest that you have your own with you before using a machine)
  • Insert cash into ATM
  • Confirm operation (bitcoin sent to your bitcoin address at the moment of purchase)

The process described above may vary slightly from ATM to ATM. It is important to note that even when the machine’s software/hardware support compliance procedures, that are not necessarily activated, as this depends on the operator. For this reason, the same type of machine might have different verifications and limits set up.

 

Genesis1 Machine from Genesis Coin

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”
  • Enter your mobile number
  • Enter SMS validation code
  • Scan your 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
  • Receive your printed receipt

Here are the instructions of how to use a similar machine without verifications (if operator chooses to do so):

  • Click “Buy Bitcoin”
  • Choose coin (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc)
  • Choose scan QR
  • Scan wallet QR code of the wallet
  • Insert cash bills
  • Press “Finish”
  • Take printed receipt

For more information about this machine please view the Genesis1 machine from Genesis Coin

 

Satoshi1/Satoshi2 Machine from Genesis Coin

Satoshi1 is a one-way ATM model from Genesis Coin producer. You can only buy bitcoin from this machine for cash. Satoshi2 is a very similar looking unit, but it allows you to both buy and sell bitcoin. The process of buying bitcoin is identical for both machines.

Here is an example of how bitcoin can be purchased at this machine:

  • Choose “buy bitcoin”
  • Choose amount you want to buy (usually the higher the amount, the more verifications you need to complete. IMPORTANT! The limit 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 phone number using ATM pin pad
  • Enter in received SMS verification code
  • There are several options on the screen of how you would like to provide an address for the bitcoin 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.
  • Scan the QR code of your address
  • Input cash bills
  • Click “Finish” when you are ready. The bitcoin will be sent to you immediately.
  • You can print the receipt of the transaction or have it emailed to you.

 

For more information about this machine please view the Satoshi1 and Satoshi2 bitcoin ATM machines from Genesis Coin.

 

Lamassu

This is the second most installed bitcoin ATM machine in the world (after the Genesis Coin models). Lamassu bitcoin ATMs are installed in many countries worldwide.

The process for purchasing bitcoins on the Lamassu is simple.

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

IMPORTANT! There is no paper wallet printer at this machine, so you need to have a bitcoin wallet/ address before using is (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 the process is at your location).

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

For more information about this machine please view the Lamassu bitcoin ATM.

 

General Bytes BATMTwo (one-way)

General Bytes ATM is designed to provide services for:

  • Anonymous users
  • Anonymous users + finger print scan
  • Registered users

Depending on how the operator sets up the General Bytes ATM machine, the following process may vary slightly.

IMPORTANT! This bitcoin ATM does not have a receipt printer. However, if you use an existing wallet the user can send an email, where the encrypted private keys of a newly generated address will be sent with further instructions on how to use it. The process below will include using your email:

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

This video explains how to use an existing wallet at the ATM machine.

For more information about this machine please view the BATMTwo bitcoin ATM by General Bytes.

 

General Bytes BATMThree (two-way)

General Bytes rolled out the BATMThree as an updated to the BATMTwo. The main difference is that this machine supports two-way operations: buying and selling of bitcoins for cash.

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

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

  • Click “Buy Bitcoin” on the screen
  • Define the amount you want to buy
  • If you have a wallet already, scan it. If you do not have a wallet, print a brand new paper wallet which you can scan.
  • Insert cash bills and information will update on the screen.
  • Click “Buy bitcoin” and the equivalent in BRC will be sent to scanned address.

For more information about this machine please view the BATMThree bitcoin ATM by General Bytes.

 

BitAccess

The BitAccess machine is installed all across the world and mostly represented in Canada, US, and many European countries.

Here is the process of buying bitcoins using this ATM:

  • Choose language
  • Press “Start”
  • Enter mobile number
  • Enter received SMS validation code
  • Select “Buy bitcoin”
  • 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”
  • Bitcoin is sent and you will receive a confirmation SMS
  • Optionally you can print a receipt as well

For more information about this machine please view the BTMs machine by BitAccess

 

Skyhook

This was the most compact and cheap bitcoin ATM on the market. However, presumably due to low price, the company could not survive long term and abandoned market in beginning of 2015 by practically eliminating any support and delaying deliveries. As a result 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 email address where 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

Disclaimer: 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 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 on 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 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 provided data and your account was created.

Here is a short video demonstrating 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 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 transaction

 

The process is illustrated in the following videos: