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Could Crypto ATMs Still Be Relevant to Traders in 2023?

March 9, 2023

Image Unsplash John Paul Cuvinar Bitcoin ATMs - Could Crypto ATMs Still Be Relevant to Traders in 2023?

Image: Unsplash/John Paul Cuvinar

Remember Crypto ATMS? These relics of the past popped up all over the world back in 2013 in convenience stores and corner shops during the crypto boom. You might be thinking, whatever happened to them? Absolutely nothing - they’re still there. While the installation of new crypto ATMs has seized, some machines around the world still make a good profit, and to this day, there is a total of 37381 ATMs that complete purchases all over the world. Today we’ll be taking a look at these kiosks and answer if crypto ATMs are still relevant in 2023.

What Are Crypto ATMs?

For those of you learning about crypto ATMs (also referred to as Bitcoin ATMs) for the first time, or if you are simply in need of a refresher, crypto ATMs are physical machines that allow individuals to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies on the go. While they are called ATMs, this name might be misleading, as these machines do not allow users to connect to their bank accounts. Instead, they can insert cash into the ATM and transfer crypto into their digital wallet.

The big reason they have lost popularity over the years is the extortionate fees applied to every crypto purchase, ranging between 10-20% across various types of ATMs. To this day, purchasing crypto via these kiosks remains the most expensive method of buying coins, and people are far more inclined to purchase their digital currencies online from traders like Coinbase and Gemini. So why do some traders still use these machines? Believe it or not, crypto ATMs have some perks relevant today.

Pros and Cons of Bitcoin ATMs

Given the dwindling popularity of crypto ATMs, some investors may wonder if they will be relevant in 2023. The answer to this question depends on the needs and preferences of the individual trader. Let’s look at some perks and drawbacks to help you understand why some people still use Bitcoin ATMs.


Investors may still have a place for crypto ATMs if they value anonymity and privacy. When you buy or sell crypto at these kiosks, you often do not share any personal information with the device. You don’t need to go through any KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures currently in place at most online exchanges. As a result, they are a popular choice among users concerned about their privacy and would rather pay the fee and remain anonymous than go through a tedious verification process.

Crypto ATMs are also an excellent option for the less tech-savvy, who need help to trust or use online exchanges. In an all-digital world, crypto ATMs are about as tactile as crypto can get. Most users who buy crypto from ATMs tend to use it as a means of sending money from all over the globe, similar to how Western Union operates.


The biggest criticism concerning crypto ATMs is the high fees. Coin ATM Radar reports that some ATMs will charge between 7-16% to buy tokens or coins, while selling fees range between 4 and 15%. Needless to say, this is an excessive price for their service.

In addition, more than half of the crypto ATMs in the US lack a photo ID verification procedure. While this sounds like a great incentive for investors who want to remain incognito about their crypto purchases, it is the same perk that draws criminals to use these kiosks, increasing the difficulty of anti-fraud efforts. This creates an operating ground for money laundering and other scams like catfishing.

Crypto ATMs and Scams

Criminals have gotten creative with crypto ATMs. Some use the kiosks for money laundering. The ATMs have a very high cap on the money you can spend to buy crypto daily, going as far as $5000 in some cases. It only takes three ATMs to transfer 15K to a crypto wallet in a single neighbourhood.

Other examples of fraud using ATMs include catfishing. The con artist sends the victim a QR code along with instructions to visit a nearby cryptocurrency ATM, scan the code, and then transfer money into their wallet. For this reason, many people argue that Bitcoin ATM operators should enforce strict verification procedures, and it’s easy for us to agree with them.

Even though crypto automated teller machines are safe enough (they use blockchain technology), crypto ATMs are susceptible to catfishing schemes and other threats. It’s essential to keep your private keys and personal info to yourself and stay vigilant for scammers.

How To Use a Crypto ATM in 2023: Step-by-Step Guide

Image CoinATMRadar Crypto ATM Maps - Could Crypto ATMs Still Be Relevant to Traders in 2023?

Source: CoinATMRadar

If you like the sound of crypto ATMs and you feel like it might be the easiest way to make your crypto purchase, here is a small guide on how to use one. ATMs vary from model to model, and these steps can be different depending on the kiosk you have nearby. You will need a passport photo (in some cases), your phone number and access to your digital wallet.

  • Step 1: Locate an ATM near you. You can use the Bitcoin ATM Map to look up a machine that offers a specific cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, Ether, Tether, Dogecoin and many others. The website can display all ATMs near you.
  • Step 2: Create a digital wallet. Since you’ll be purchasing crypto, you need a crypto wallet to keep it safe and secure. This step is essential because the wallet is required to complete the transaction. If you’re wondering where to sign up for one, check out this list of the best crypto wallets.
  • Step 3: Prove your identity. As we discussed, this step could be lacking for some kiosks, but most ATMs will ask for your phone number at least, while others might require your photo ID or Social Security Number.
  • Step 4: Submit your wallet address. With a crypto wallet all set up, you’ll need to submit your wallet address or QR code, which most ATMs can scan before you proceed to purchase your coin.
  • Step 5: Choose the cryptocurrency you want to buy from the available list and select the amount. Next, complete the payment using one of the available payment methods or pay with cash if you prefer.
  • Step 6: Be patient. The transaction may take a few minutes to complete - don’t forget it is being verified through the blockchain. Once your purchase is confirmed, you will be issued a receipt. In some rare cases, the ATM can produce a voucher which you can redeem, but most will process your funds directly into your wallet.

These steps may vary significantly from ATM to ATM, so always make sure to read the instruction provided on the screen. Some crypto ATMs might require downloading an application to complete your purchase.

Alternatives for the Less Tech-Savvy

Even though crypto ATMs might sound like a good idea for the less technologically inclined, as you can tell from our step-by-step guide, you still need to set up a digital wallet. If this sounds like a headache, we have an alternative for you.

Platforms like can help you with any crypto trading topic and provide the necessary resources and guidance to complete your trades. Bitcoin Trader is a matching service that pairs users with knowledgeable crypto brokers who can help them set up a digital wallet and provide market insight and analytics, as well as trading software so clients can confidently navigate through the crypto sector. If you think you need to get out of your comfort zone and take your trading skills to a new level, Bitcoin Trader’s crypto partners can help you achieve that.

The Future of Crypto ATMs

Currently, nearly 38000 crypto ATMs operate worldwide, with 95% of them located in North America. The top three nations to utilise the ATMs are the US, covering nearly 88% of all sales, followed by Canada, at almost 7%, and Spain, accounting for 0.6% of global sales. The rest are spread across various countries that also provide access to Bitcoin ATMs.

In 2022, the US disabled a total of 78 ATMs, while Europe removed 15 machines. The decline is slow, but it’s there, and while some traders still use crypto ATMs, it is transparent that society has moved to a more convenient online crypto platform for their purchases. For those still wanting to utilise the few ATMs that provide anonymity, we suggest they do so sooner rather than later before crypto ATMs become extinct.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, although maybe declining in popularity, crypto ATMs are still relevant in the realm of cryptocurrencies. They can still be a helpful tool for purchasing and selling Bitcoin and other cryptos for investors who desire privacy and anonymity. Yet, internet exchanges will probably continue to be the first choice for investors that value accessibility and convenience.

See:  BoC: Bitcoin Ownership in Canada Jumped to 13% in 2021

Online exchanges provide a greater selection of cryptocurrencies and trading pairs, are accessible from anywhere provided you have access to WiFi and are open twenty-four hours a day. Those who want to learn more about crypto trading can also benefit from matching with a crypto broker, which can help them take their first steps and set up their initial trades.

With all that’s been said, we want to encourage investors to do their own research when it comes to crypto trading. It is also essential to speak to a financial analyst and come up with various strategies in an ever-volatile crypto market.

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