A Bitcoin ATM, as the name suggests, is a type of Automated Teller Machine. However, unlike the traditional bank ATM, this one’s hardware and software are designed to allow Bitcoin users to exchange fiat money, such as dollar bills, for Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency.

There are two major types of Bitcoin ATMs; the one-way and the two-way. The former facilitates buying of bitcoins only while the latter also allows selling bitcoins for fiat currency.

Where can you locate Bitcoin ATMs?

Bitcoin ATMs are usually situated in the path of high traffic or public facilities where you can easily access and use them. The likely places you would find a Bitcoin ATM include shopping malls, restaurants, bars and airports.

But how can you know where to find a Bitcoin ATM in your neighborhood?

The easiest way to find a Bitcoin ATM nearby is to use a Bitcoin ATM map. Bitcoin ATM service providers such as Coin Outlet do list their ATMs on such maps. The most used ATM maps online include Coin ATM Radar, Coinmap.org and Bitcoinmaps.info.

Coin Outlet does keep its own map, where locations of all it of its ATMs are indicated.

What do you need to use a Bitcoin ATM

If you are buying bitcoins, especially for the first time, then you will need to install a Bitcoin wallet on your mobile device. Fortunately, there are several easy to install and use bitcoin wallet apps. The most notable ones include Coinbase and Blockchain.info.

You could also print the wallet on a piece of paper. To use this with a Bitcoin ATM, you would display the QR code representation of the wallet’s public address to the ATM’s scanner to receive bitcoins after inserting bills into the machine.

How to use a Bitcoin ATM

To receive bitcoins, choose the option of buying Bitcoin on the machine’s screen. You will be prompted to insert equivalent amount of fiat bills into a provided slot. Scan your wallet address and you will have the amount reflected in your wallet, usually in less than 10 minutes.

On the other hand, to sell bitcoins, you will select the sell bitcoin option. An address in QR code form will be displayed. Go to the Send Bitcoin section of the wallet on your device and choose to add an address by scanning. Capture the QR code on the ATM’s screen and send the bitcoins.

On confirmation of the receipt of the funds, the ATM dispenser will issue bills in the fiat currency you selected.