There are many different bitcoin ATM providers on the market. If you plan to operate a bitcoin ATM, it is a hard choice which one to purchase.
On our site the full list of bitcoin ATM suppliers is available. It includes also the ones, which don’t even have a bitcoin ATM installed, however at least the prototype was provided to get listed.
Beware of the scam!
As in many business areas closely related to Bitcoin, there are many scam players trying to cut easy money from new comers or the very risky people. As an example, the Moolah story can be used – the company notably known for Dogecoin support. Alex Green, who as it turned out, had several other names, was promising to deliver a bitcoin ATM to the market, which actually never happened. Finally, he disappeared with funds invested into the company and being at an exchange.
Another most recent example, in the end of 2014 the new company Dogevertise promised to deliver cheap dogecoin ATM, however only rendered images were provided to the community, which was a very strong signal to be a fraud. As it was expected the company turned out to be a scam and now the site is turned off. But against a strong fraud signal, somebody still sent money to them, and later ended up losing money.
So the main advice whenever you choose a bitcoin ATM – look at the suppliers, who has at least one or even better several physical bitcoin machines installed and running. Again the full list of ATM manufacturers with number of installed machines can be found here. It is even better if you go and use the machine before you purchase it, as the same process may have totally different user experience with different machines. Use our bitcoin ATM map to find closest to you bitcoin ATM.
Bitcoin machines comparison
In this post we compare only three bitcoin machines: Skyhook, Lamassu and General Bytes. They are not big in size and fit to most of the locations, even when there is not a lot of space available. However there are many other bitcoin machine producers and we can make another comparison later.
Skyhook bitcoin machine
UPDATED: Since the time when this post was written Skyhook as a company silently abandoned the industry. There were several cases of non-delivery, also the software of Skyhook stopped to be supported. It is open source, so some operators tried to update the code as they needed, however on large scale machines are not reliably working anymore. As a result the number of installed Skyhook machines is decreasing steadily over time and it is not an option anymore. Check Lamassu or General Bytes models below.
At the moment of writing there are 60 locaitons with Skyhook ATM.
Base price $999.
- Price: this is the most affordable bitcoin ATM solution on the market
- Very compact size: can literally be placed anywhere, can easily be brought to meet ups etc.
- Cash acceptor may not support some bank notes, so check before purchasing. E.g. GPB was not supported and as there at the moment no Skyhook in the United Kingdom, seems that it is not yet supported. According to the order options on the site, Skyhook works currently with USD, CAD, AUD, or EUR. Also according to some reports recently, the machine was not able to catch the bogus $100 bill, which brings some additional risks to operators.
- Exchange integration is missing. To our knowledge Skyhook does not support integration with exchanges, that means operators are limited in protection against volatility. You use your hot wallet, where from bitcoins are sent to customer address, but you need to purchase manually in advance. If the price of bitcoin falls – all the price risks are carried by the operator. The only feature available is to set the minimum sell price, but that basically will result that you hold bitcoins, which were purchased at higher than market price and no customer is willing to buy.
- AML/KYC is not supported. If you need to have some verifications in place, it cannot be done with Skyhook. The machine has an inbuilt camera, however it is used for scanning the QR codes only.
Lamassu bitcoin ATM
This is the market leader according to the number of installations. Currently there are 112 Lamassu machine locations.
Base price $6500.
- User-experience: this machine is known for its very easy buy bitcoin process in 15 seconds
- Design: the machine looks very nice, especially with updated screen size to 10″
- Two-way option: when needed can be converted to two-way bitcoin ATM by purchasing additional Santo Tirso stand, which is however quite expensive as well ( + $5500). At the moment all the locations have one-way option used only
- KYC/AML: according to recent announcements, the company has integrated with IdentityMind, while the full details of what kind of checks can be done are not clear. As the machine doesn’t have a camera, there is a possibility to scan ID doc using the scanner
- Price: quite expensive compared to other solutions
General Bytes bitcoin ATM
Base price: 2299 EUR (~$2660)
- Price: the machine is relatively cheap for the features it provides
- KYC/AML: options to verify via SMS, ID document scan or the fingerprint (scanner is included starting from the BATMTwo model)
- Integrated POS functionality: you can use the machine as POS, even the optional tips can be given via the machine
- Multi-crypto support: additionally to Bitcoin, the machine supports operations with Litecoin and Dogecoin
- Exchange integration is supported (Bitstamp.net, Coinbase.com, Bitfinex.com)
- Bitcoins to email feature: if you don’t have bitcoin wallet set up, you can purchase bitcoins and email will be sent to you with instructions (encrypted data protected with defined password)
- Proprietary software compared to open-source for both Skyhook and Lamassu
- Ongoing fee of 0.5% of all operations is charged if GB server infrustructure is used, however server software is provided for free and can be run by the operator without any ongoing fees
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