If you were puzzled when you first became aware that Bitcoin ATMs exist, then you are not alone. For many people, Bitcoin is viewed as being extremely complicated. However, most people come to the overall conclusion that Bitcoin is a digital currency. Therefore, it’s a fair assumption to suggest a Bitcoin ATM isn’t that digitally advanced. And yet, it actually serves an important purpose, which will be discussed and explained throughout this blog.
It’s an important question to ask. After all, the underlying principle behind Bitcoin is a digital, cryptographic, censorship-resistant alternative form of money and property. You would therefore expect an ATM to eradicate the very privacy and security it stands for. But as you begin to learn more about Bitcoin, you realise that each function serves a purpose, and ATMs are no different.
Bitcoin ATMs are an effective alternative way to buy Bitcoin without giving away your privacy. In addition, as opposed to making transactions online, Bitcoin ATMs are a great way to make purchases whilst withholding your personal information at the same time. As it is almost impossible to make a purchase without giving your identity away, using a Bitcoin ATM doesn’t require any identification. It, therefore, cuts out the need for a bank altogether.
So, now we understand that Bitcoin ATMs are actually very beneficial for privacy and security, all that is left is to know is how to utilise this. Firstly, when you’re at a Bitcoin ATM, you must create a digital wallet (if you haven’t got one already). To do this, you can print a paper one at the ATM, but bear in mind to keep it safe as anyone that has a copy of your private key written on the paper wallet, has access to your Bitcoin added to it.
Once that is complete, click “buy Bitcoin” and read the terms and conditions. The ATM will then ask which address the purchased Bitcoin is going to. If you are using your new paper wallet, scan the QR code printed on the paper in front of the screen. Alternatively, if you are using an existing wallet, scan the QR code for that wallet. Now you will put in the amount of money you are exchanging into the ATM for Bitcoin. To verify this, enter your phone number so that you can receive a confirmation code and then subsequently fill in the code on the ATM. For added security, you can use a prepaid sim on your phone so that your phone number won’t tie in with your name.
Finally, insert your cash notes one at a time and once the ATM has registered the amount, click to finish. Congratulations, you will have Bitcoin heading to your address. If you no longer want to keep your Bitcoin on your paper wallet, you can easily move it to another wallet, you will just be required to have the paper wallet on you so you can scan the QR code.
Bitcoin ATMs are conveniently located, with more appearing in large cities across the world every month. For the UK specifically, there are over 100 Bitcoin ATMs, with over half of them situated in London. As Bitcoin continues to expand at a considerable rate, keep an eye out for a new one being built near yourself!
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