One of the most confusing parts of buying bitcoins from ATM is understanding how the coins get transferred to your control. This is especially confusing for new users and first-time buyers.
This post will aim to help make this process more clear for you before you make your way to a bitcoin ATM.
In most cases, ATMs ask you to scan a QR code of a Bitcoin address. This is where the bitcoins will be delivered to after you deposit cash. So, all you really need to do is figure out how to access the receive screen of your wallet that shows a Bitcoin address and corresponding QR code. We’ll show you how to do this using 2 iOS wallets and 2 Android wallet as examples. Even if the wallet you use isn’t featured in this post, know that the process will be very similar.
Mobile Wallets for iOS
All you need to do to access the receive screen in breadwallet is to swipe right and you should see the “receive money” page that displays a QR code and your wallet address.
When you go to the ATM, scan this QR code and the coins will be delivered to your breadwallet.
The process is very similar to breadwallet. Just click the “Receive” icon at the bottom menu and you’ll then see a QR code and Bitcoin address as shown below:
When you go to the ATM, scan this QR code and the coins will be delivered to your Copay wallet.
Mobile Wallets for Android
Mycelium has long been one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets for Android.
Receiving bitcoins from an ATM to Mycelium is super easy. Navigate to the “BALANCE” tab on the top menu. You’ll see a QR code and corresponding Bitcoin address below.
Click on the QR code to make it bigger. At the ATM, scan this QR code and the ATM will send the bitcoins to your wallet.
Airbitz is another popular wallet for Android and is also available on iOS, so these directions apply for both systems.
Open the Airbitz wallet, click the menu button in the top left and tap “Request”. You should now see a QR code like the one shown below:
When you go to the ATM scan this and the bitcoins will be delivered directly to your Airbitz wallet.
Wallets provided by bitcoin ATM operators
Some bitcoin ATM operators provide their own branded bitcoin wallets for the customers. These wallets are standard normal wallets similar to independently developed ones mentioned above, so you can use them not necessarily only at the bitcoin machines of these particular operators, but at any other machine and for other services as well, e.g. when you buy bitcoins at exchange and withdraw BTC to your wallet. Usually those are customized versions of Airbitz wallet, which means the same in functionality.
Athena Bitcoin is a bitcoin ATM operator with currently 39 locations in many states. The largest presence is in Atlanta, GA and Miami, FL.
Coinsource is the largest bitcoin ATM operator in the world with currently 108 bitcoin machines installed in the U.S.
Coinsource bitcoin machines are spread across many states and cities of the country. The most dense areas with their machines are Los Angeles and New York.
Rockitcoin intially installed bitcoin machines in the Chicago area, however, later expanded to other states in the country. Right now the company operates 39 bitcoin ATMs with largest presence in Chicago, IL and Atlanta, GA.