There is a steady increasing number of bitcoin ATMs on the map. However, many people complain that fees to use these machines are still high, although these complaints might not be that prominent as they were at the start of first bitcoin ATMs launch times. Users finally realize that running a bitcoin ATM is not that easy and there are many costs associated with it.
Bitcoin ATM fees were already analysed in our blog back in 2014. This article is supposed to look at what are the latest figures across the industry as of the end 2016.
There are two ways of collecting fee size on the site:
First is based on the manually defined values. This is normally used for bitcoin ATMs, which don’t support passing online information over API. Most prominent example is Lamassu with currently 185 installed and operational bitcoin ATMs across the world.
Another way to collect data is via online feeds. There are several bitcoin ATM providers, which support online reporting of information similar to the one used at actual machines. These are: Genesis Coin, General Bytes, and Bitaccess. In case of Genesis Coin and General Bytes machines, online price is taken and converted to fee size based on Bitcoin Average rate. This allows to make all fee size comparable. In case of Bitaccess fees are reported directly.
Since April 2015 we collect daily information about fee size. There were some algorithm adjustments to calculation and storing procedure over time, but generally fees are comparable historically.
Current worldwide average bitcoin ATM fee is 8.4% for buying bitcoins from machines, and 5.4% for selling bitcoins for cash.
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.
As mentioned before – we have a functionality to show online prices for Bitcoin ATMs in case there is an API provided by the operator. At the moment many ATMs already display online information from the provider (all Genesis Coin ATMs, most Robocoin machines, some others). If you are running a Bitcoin ATM and would like your online rates to be displayed – please provide us with an API link.
While several operators asked for the template or API description, we put it here available publicly. In any case the set up is done manually with transformation to our standard data structure, so the list below contains just recommended examples, but not necessarily the requirement.
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.
We are glad to announce a new functionality on the site. Now the information about Bitcoin ATMs became even more transparent. While working closely with Bitcoin ATM manufacturers and operators, we were able to add information to many of Bitcoin ATM pages, namely: information about current price level and limits for every machine. So now you don’t need to go to the ATM in order to check what is the current price and the spread, you can do this by checking our site.