Here's a fun fact: You can withdraw Bitcoin in cold, hard cash at an ATM. There's a slight catch, though —you'll need to find a dedicated Bitcoin ATM to do so, as standard ATMs aren't equipped (yet) to process such transactions.
What Are Bitcoin ATMs?
A Bitcoin ATM is a kiosk in similar shape and form to a standard ATM that allows customers to withdraw Bitcoin in United States Dollar, or their local currency. Some Bitcoin ATMs are bi-directional, also offering customers the option to buy Bitcoin.
Do Bitcoin ATMs Charge Fees?
Just like a standard Dollar ATM that isn't operated by a financial institution — Bank of America, for example — Bitcoin ATMs charge fees for processing your request. But unlike them, the surcharge Bitcoin ATMs impose is a percentage of the transaction.
The United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has warned that fee percentages may be very high, depending on the transaction you're carrying out, and that exchange rates may not be as competitive as consumers would find elsewhere.
Should You Use A Bitcoin ATM?
We wouldn't recommend it for the above reason; Bitcoin ATMs are far from cheap, lumping on extortionate fees for the convenience of exchanging Bitcoin into a fiat currency, and vice versa, without having to route it through an exchange like Coinbase.
Where Can You Find Bitcoin ATMs?
If you're desperate to try a Bitcoin ATM, you can find the closest one to you by heading over to Coin ATM Radar and inputting your address (it's a global service). You'll then be shown the closest ATM to you, as well as its predicted service fees.
Want to learn more about Cryptocurrency? Check out our Beginner's Guide.