We gathered a lot of information about the Bitcoin ATMs for our Bitcoin ATM Map thanks to many contributors. Now it is time to pay back to the community. For many Bitcoin machines information about the fees was stored. However, it was the information that operators usually don’t want to share. Recently we added integration of API from many providers which allowed us to show online rates for many Bitcoin ATMs. Using the data from both sources, it became possible to answer the question “How much do the Bitcoin ATM operators actually charge their customers?”
For detection of the fees for every machine we used the following algorithm (in descending priority order):
- If the data about online rates for two-way machine is available – calculate the fees based on the spread (buy and sell fees are averaged in this case);
- If the data about online rates of one-way machine is available – calculate the fees based on BitcoinAverage feed in corresponding currency;
- Finally, if there is no online rates information, but the data about fees was collected before – we use it.
Based on this logic we collected data on 127 Bitcoin ATMs out of total 230 machines (55%). While information about the fees was collected not only from the providers, but also from independent sources like reddit and bitcointalk, it is likely that the data is not biased and may be assumed as a representative sample.
Bitcoin ATM Average Fee History
The average fee along those 127 ATMs is exactly at 6.0%. Looking at the history of the fees change, we see that it started with 5% with following decrease to around 4% in January, 2014 and then steady increase when new ATMs were installed by many different operators. Starting approximately since the middle of July, 2014 the fees stabilized at the 6% level.
Bitcoin ATM Fee by Geographical Region
Looking at the continents, we can observe that the lowest fees are applied in Latin America countries (4.8% on average), while the highest are in Oceania countries (8.3%). North American countries have an average of 6.1%, which is 0.6% higher than operators charge in Europe on average.
It is important not to misinterpret information, while many countries have very few ATMs for which fees information is available. This makes the country average is actually to be represented just by couple of Bitcoin ATMs. Countries with substantial number of ATMs (at least 5 with known fees) are:
- Australia – 6 machines / 8.3% on average;
- Canada – 35 machines / 6.4% on average;
- Czech Republic – 5 machines / 6.2% on average;
- Unites States – 29 machines / 5.8% on average;
- United Kingdom – 7 machines / 5.2% on average;
So, Australia looks to be the country where operators charge much more on average than operators in other countries. On the contrary, United Kingdom is the country with smallest average Bitcoin ATM fees, which may be a result of very low traditional bank ATM fees.
Bitcoin ATM Fee by Machine Type
There are many different Bitcoin machine types on the market, with some new ones launched recently. All of them could be grouped into three segments (low-cost, middle-segment and high-cost bank level ATMs) – we used this grouping before when calculated the profitability of Bitcoin ATMs. The awaited behavior from the operators would be that they charge higher fees for the more expensive ATMs, in order to get a return on larger investment.
The following chart shows the average fees set for every type of the Bitcoin machine. Important to note, that those fees are set by the operators and have no relation to Bitcoin ATM manufacturers. For this chart we selected the ATM types, which have at least 3 units installed with fees information available.
Robocoin and Genesis1 machines on average set to charge the users 6.3%, which is very close to overall market average fee of 6%. The middle-price segment Bitcoin ATMs have a very broad range of values starting with 7.3% on BitAccess machines and ending with 5% on General Bytes and Tembusu. Lamassu machines are charging 5.2% on average which is lower than the market average.
Fair to say, the high average fee for BitAccess ATMs is mostly due to recent launch of Cavirtex machines in Canada. Although the information was not confirmed by the company representative, users on forums posted information that the fee level on those machines is about 10%. This value was taken into calculations.
Skyhook Bitcoin ATM which is in the lowest price segment (costs $999 per unit) has relatively high fees on average of 6.0%, it is right on the market average rate and very close to Robocoin and Genesis1 machines, which are in the high-price segment per unit. One of the reasons could be that normally owners of those machines expect low transaction size operations and set the higher fees, which should not result in high nominal fees.
Bitcoin ATM Fee by Currency
So we see again that ATMs operating with Australian dollars charge the most in the world, CAD and USD are quite close to the market average fee. Europe is below the average at around 5.2-5.5% fee. The Bitcoin ATMs operating in British Pound charges the smallest fee.
At the moment we observe quite high fees at 6% on average. Australia is the country with highest fees of about 8%, USA and Canada are in the middle with about the market average fees, while Europe has the smallest fees on average.
The fees were growing over time with launch of new machines, but stabilized at current levels during couple of last months. The market is still very immature and with increasing competition, the average fee may go down. At the moment, there are only several cities with substantial number of ATMs, and there is basically no competition, when only 1 or 2 ATMs are present in the city.
Bitcoin ATMs are comparable to the p2p purchases with users from localbitcoins, but provide more security, speed and flexibility (e.g. any small amount can be bought). Recently there was many positive feedback about smoothly run purchases via Bitcoin ATMs. This could increase adoption rate among people, who will not go into a hassle of opening account with one of the online exchange.