The Pros and Cons of Using Bitcoin ATMs for Crypto Transactions

Hmm! What are some of the pros and cons of using Bitcoin ATMs?

You know, in my last article about Bitcoin ATMs, I stated that I would be checking out the Bitcoin ATM at Ajah, Lagos. Well, I did, and… I NOTICED some things. And this got me thinking really, what are the advantages and disadvantages of using Bitcoin ATMs?

I also remember stating that Bitcoin ATMs fees are quite higher and… yh! It was quite expensive, but there is more to using Bitcoin ATMs. And I thought I should share them with you.

In this article, I will be highlighting my opinion on Bitcoin ATMs and also, more importantly, the cons and pros of using Bitcoin ATMs. So that you can make a more observed and informed decision if you’re intending to use one. But before we go into details, I want to believe I have some newbies reading. Well, welcome, friends!

If you’re new to the concept of Bitcoin ATMs, I wrote a fun but vivid article on it titled “How To Use Bitcoin ATMs”. With that article, you will have a full-on idea of Bitcoin ATMs and how to use them. And if you’re in Africa like me or you intend to visit Africa. I mean, this is Mother Natureland, I personally feel everyone should visit Africa before they, you know, die. But yh, I also wrote an article about Bitcoin ATMs in Africa, and it highlights how many Bitcoin ATMs we have in Africa with locations. You should check these out to gain some information, but I will still give you a gleam of what a Bitcoin ATM is, again.


What Is a Bitcoin ATM?

Automated Teller Machines are those devices where users input their debit or credit cards to withdraw cash or carry out other financial transactions. With a Bitcoin ATM, you may withdraw or deal in Bitcoin instead of using conventional currencies like Naira or USD.

You may purchase or sell Bitcoin with a card or cash at a Bitcoin ATM. They were developed to provide individuals with better access to their cryptocurrency at any time.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way let’s dive into the pros and cons of using Bitcoin ATMs:


Pros Of Using Bitcoin ATMs

1. Ease of use

Bitcoin ATMs are convenient. Even beginners can use it, they’re so easy to use. Directions are available for guides on screen and it is just so fast. My experience was exciting indeed. Unlike the usual ATMs which can be time-consuming and demand too much personal information, Bitcoin ATMs stick to the motive of cryptocurrency. It’s quite discreet but I’ll write about this later in this article, so read on.

Also, Bitcoin ATMs do not need an internet connection to function. I mean, this is a big plus. Because if you use a mobile wallet, you will always need a strong internet connection. What then happens if your connection breaks and you are in need of money? This is where Bitcoin ATM is king! Also, you do not need a bank account to use one.

Generally, Bitcoin ATMs are easy to use and convenient enough. That’s a good one.


2. Security & Anonymity

Can you trust Bitcoin ATMs? With Bitcoin ATMs, you don’t need to be concerned about your security or privacy. To complete a transaction, you need a digital wallet, and there is a safety procedure in place.

You need to confirm your identification in order to finish a transaction. Without your digital wallet key, a third party cannot access your account or conduct a transaction. These safety precautions maintain the process’s security and minimal danger. Without intervention from outside parties, users interact with the ATM.

You shouldn’t be concerned about the security of utilising a Bitcoin ATM. Every day, individuals from all around the world use these devices to purchase and trade bitcoins. But, I do have my reservations which I will explain further, just keep reading.


3. Encourages & Pioneers New Technology

As the world advances in technology, it’s important that new developments follow the path. Others will like utilising a new type of cash for their regular costs, even if it may not be a big plus for others. Think about informing your friends or family that you regularly, successfully, and legally spend cryptocurrency. In the coming years, the cryptocurrency ATM business is expected to rise tenfold, securing this type of currency exchange on the market.

It always takes a chosen few to pioneer new technology and show the rest of the world that it is a workable invention. ATMs that accept cryptocurrency provide consumers with a quick, simple option to withdraw their digital profits while also saving time. All it really takes is for you to take a leap of faith and discover how groundbreaking it is to rely on crypto instead of traditional banks and their ATMs.


4. Bitcoin ATMs Supports Many Currencies

This is another huge pro of using Bitcoin ATMs. So, unlike some (or many) mobile wallets that support a limited number of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin ATMs support a variety of coins. According to the numbers research, over 50% of Bitcoin ATMs support so many other currencies aside from Bitcoin alone.

5. Convenient for Travellers and Foreigners

So, I mentioned exploring Africa, and as a tourist, one of the major issues you may face is money conversion. What if I told you that with Bitcoin ATMs, you can exchange money between currencies? Isn’t that amazing?

You can simply convert your Bitcoin to any fiat currency you desire, whether USD, Naira, Euros, Pounds, … whichever.

Okay! Now that we have highlighted some advantages of using Bitcoin ATMs, let’s discuss their disadvantages. Remember, highlighting these cons is not to discourage you from using Bitcoin ATMs but to keep you more informed. So, let’s dive in!

The Pros and Cons of Using Bitcoin ATMs for Crypto Transactions
Virtual representation of a lady buying crypto with Bitcoin ATM


Cons of Using Bitcoin ATMs

1. I don’t think there’s much anonymity

Hold on! I will explain. You know what people love crypto to be is because of the independence and privacy it offers its users. Bitcoin ATMs ask for a cell phone number verification, your ID, and a selfie. If you use an ATM, you’re still free from banks, but if you want to keep your personality secret, this is not the way.

I understand that they may need these things to identify a wallet’s owner, but it also breaks its trust. I mean, where’s the privacy then if it asks for all these things? Maybe, the developers should work on better ways to identify users than asking for personal details.


2. Not Available In Many Locations

Of every 5 ATMs, 3 to 4 are located in the United States. There are currently very few Bitcoin ATMs because the technology is still somewhat young (in the offline sense). The most recent estimates place the number of Bitcoin ATMs at 3,000. There are fewer cities, airports, railway stations, and hotels than you may imagine when you sum them all together. People who live outside of the current reach of Bitcoin ATMs may have a problem with this.

However, the number of ATMs will increase with time if the Bitcoin development scene is to be believed since technology is always evolving. Users will first need to find a means to go to the payment site until local ATMs are deployed.

I feel Africa should have more Bitcoin ATMs, or maybe I am being too demanding. Don’t know.


3. Transaction Fees are High

This is not a buzz, but transaction fees on Bitcoin ATMs are too expensive. As estimated, Bitcoin ATMs charge an 8% fee on every transaction. Let me give you some number work.

To buy crypto using Bitcoin ATMs, you are likely to pay over 10% in fees if you’re in the US and about 9.01% at other locations. If you’re selling, i.e., converting your crypto to cash, you will pay over 8% in fees if in the States. And about 7.59% if you’re outside the States.

I even read that some can be as pricey as 30%. So again, it leaves me to advise you to sell crypto with Breet. Breet functions in Nigeria and Ghana currently. Breet is free to use, has no transaction fees, and offers good rates. You should check it out!


4. Poor Customer Support

In terms of mechanical operation, Bitcoin ATMs are identical to regular ATMs. ATMs have software bugs, cash shortages, and other problems today, just like any other technology. Users can and should get in touch with their preferred Bitcoin firm as soon as feasible in such circumstances. You might not see any outcomes.

The explanation is simple: Bitcoin ATM development is still in its infancy. Infrastructure for Bitcoin cashout providers is still in its early stages. It can take many weeks before someone fixes his malfunctioning ATM or restocks the cash depot.

In either case, the failure rate of Bitcoin ATMs is the same as that of traditional ATMs. If you’ve ever used a neighbourhood ATM, you are aware of its dependability and longevity. As a result, the chances of a Bitcoin ATM being offline while it is in operation are, if at all feasible, at best remote.

Therefore, there may not be any bodies or systems to contact if it malfunctions.


5. Frequent Technical Breakdown

So, I did not mention that the one I used malfunctioned a bit. Well, hence Bitcoin ATMs do not use an internet connection to function. It will demand that the machine is in good condition to function. Be prepared to face multiple technical breakdowns as expected.

6. Difficult to Find

This is quite precise. Locating a Bitcoin ATM can be challenging especially if you’re new to the area or a tourist.


My Final Thought on Using Bitcoin ATMs

In my own opinion, Bitcoin ATMs are adventurous. Because it’s different, crypto users may want to use it for the fun of it and gain experience. But is it really worth it?

I leave you to answer that question. Just looking at the pros of using Bitcoin ATMs, you will notice that some are also advantages you will enjoy if using a basic mobile wallet. I believe Bitcoin ATMs will only be useful when you are out of internet connections or if you’re a tourist or new to the area. Aside from that, you may be using Bitcoin ATMs for the fun of it.

It is fun really, such an exciting experience. Will I use it again? Maybe yes, but in another country. Well, I believe that if Bitcoin ATMs become more available and more people use them, the developers will improve their deliveries and some of the disadvantages mentioned here will be improved. Until then, we can only keep hoping.

I hope you enjoyed this read. Don’t miss out on my other articles. Bye for now!

About the author

Obinna Umeh

I just love writing!