Bitcoin ATMs look almost identical to the standard ATMs you are likely to see around most towns; however, the functionality is completely different. These are enabled to allow users to both buy Bitcoins from the machine and also withdraw Bitcoins as cash, in a similar way to a usual ATM. These are essentially Bitcoin exchange machines, but out in the “real world” rather than just existing in the online space.
One thing to be aware of when using a Bitcoin ATM is that there are likely to be transaction fees a little higher than you may be used to and these could come as a bit of a surprise if you are not prepared.
So where to find these Bitcoin ATMs?
Well, there are a surprising amount worldwide, especially when you consider the fact that Bitcoin is an online cryptocurrency and that so few places currently accept it in exchange for goods.
If you live on the Isle of Man, for example, you may be worried that your nearest Bitcoin ATM is on the mainland; however, there is, in fact, one machine on the Isle of Man itself – amazing! There is one in Belfast and two in Scotland, namely Glasgow and Edinburgh, of course.
England itself boasts 29 Bitcoin ATM machines, however around 33 of these are in and around the capital of London, which should really come as no surprise.
Looking towards Europe, Spain have a whopping 28 Bitcoin ATMs, where as France have a more humble 10 machines. Greece and Hungary have only 2 a piece, which, looking at their economies makes a whole lot of sense.
There are over 30 machines throughout Canada, and their Finance Minister has announced plans to begin to regulate virtual currencies to ensure the medium is being used safely and not for any terrorist activity, for example.
Canada’s neighbor, the USA has around 600 of the machines spread around various states, so you are unlikely to be very far away from one at any one time should you need to transfer your Bitcoins in a hurry.
Japan, who have recently passed a law to make Bitcoin a legal form of tender have only around 10 ATMs at the moment, but the likelihood is that this will change drastically over the course of this year.
It’s likely that this is only the start of it and as Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrency) popularity grows, the number of ATMs will surely increase too.