Legitimately 90 meters from my home in East Vancouver was this Bitcoiniacs automated teller machine (ATM). So what exactly is a Bitcoiniacs ATM and how do you use it? There are 37 Bitcoiniacs ATMs around the world, 36 of which are in Canada in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. For this review, I had to visit two Bitcoiniacs ATMs to complete a transaction to buy Bitcoin. That means I have only visited 5.4% of all the Bitcoiniacs ATMs in the world. Gotta catch’em all!
Joking aside, that’s not a positive reflection on the accessibility of Bitcoiniacs ATMs. However, we will give them the benefit of the doubt and make a judgment based on the entire user experience. It is completely plausible that the first Bitcoiniacs ATM was damaged by someone. And, yes, that is exactly how I found the Bitcoiniacs ATM.
The Bitcoiniacs ATM QR scanner
On this Bitcoiniacs ATM, the QR scanner is a small circle with the QR code arrow pointing at it. This was the most difficult QR scanner to find and use. Ultimately, the QR scanner's inability to scan my Bitcoin address meant I had to abandon the transaction. We can rule out a glitch with my Bitcoin address. I use a Coinbase cryptocurrency wallet and my Bitcoin address QR was instantly recognized by six other cryptocurrency ATMs. I had to break up with this particular Bitcoiniancs ATM and find another one; it's not me, it's you!
Navigating the home screen
Bitcoiniacs ATMs' home screen contains a lot of valuable information and options. The home screen is also very crowded. First, along the top of the screen is a crawler with the Bitcoiniacs exchange rate for each cryptocurrency.
The middle of the screen has the icons and values for each cryptocurrency available. There are eight cryptocurrencies available on Bitcoiniacs ATMs. However, if you know cryptocurrencies by name only, you will be searching for icons on your phone and playing a match game. None of the icons are identified by name. The cryptocurrencies available on this Bitcoinaics ATM are Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, LiteCoin, Dogecoin, Tether, Iota, and XRP.
At the bottom of the screen to the left, there are links to information, a FAQ/help section, and the Bitcoiniacs website. The right side of the screen is far more interesting. There is a credit tally, the statement “insert bills” and a note that “rates are updated every five minutes.” Bitcoiniacs ATMs are the only cryptocurrency ATMs that openly state how often their rates are updated.
How to buy Bitcoin on a Bitcoiniacs ATM: the first attempt
For this review, we have selected Bitcoin. Select the Bitcoin Icon on the screen. The next screen is a disclaimer. This is the common anti-fraud warning. There is also an anti-money laundering privacy notice. Excuse the poor grammar, the sentiment is there and what matters most.
Bitcoiniacs is the only cryptocurrency ATM that has a note in the disclaimer providing users with a phone number if they need to exceed the transaction value limit. Accept the terms and press continue. As part of anti-money laundering efforts, you need to provide your phone number. You will be sent a verification code via text message or SMS that you will need to enter.
This verification code is necessary to continue with the transaction.
After, submitting the verification code, Bitcoinacs ATM instantly activates the QR camera. Here, you can see the Red Bull I purchased from the convenience store through the QR camera on the ATM screen. Remember, the QR Scanner is a small circle on the lower portion of the kiosk.
Glitches and inconsistencies with Bitcoiniacs ATMs
And this is where my journey with this particular Bitcoiniacs ATM comes to an abrupt end. Multiple attempts to scan my bitcoin address from a Coinbase Bitcoin wallet failed, again! I decided to find another Bitcoiniacs ATM. I’m glad I did because I was surprised by what I found.
This graph is the price chart of Litecoin (LTC), an alternative cryptocurrency, tracking its exchange value to Canadian dollars. This Bitcoiniacs ATM was in a completely different kiosk. There is a key fob pad, a QR scanner complete with QR code arrow decal, and something I couldn't discern a function from. Do you believe that this is a Bitcoiniacs ATM? This is the Bitcoiniacs ATM listed on their website, located on Nanaimo Street.
The Bitcoiniacs ATM was located in Heaven’s Mini Mart. The owner/operator was super friendly and wonderful to deal with. After activating the touch screen, I was brought to a completely different user interface. I know what you're thinking and we're on the same page, I hope.
This Bitcoiniacs ATM has fewer cryptocurrency options than the other two I tried. You can only purchase Bitcoin, Litecoin, and DogeCoin. Language options and a help/FAQ option are found across the top of the screen. The current crypto exchange rates are featured on the bottom bar of the screen, rotating through the three options. For this review, we chose Bitcoin.
After selecting Bitcoin, you get a completely different set of options than the other Bitcoiniacs ATMs too. Weird! Since we are testing how to buy Bitcoin through cryptocurrency ATMs, I select Bitcoin. However, this Bitcoiniacs ATM has options to sell crypto, check wallet balance, redeem a ticket, the terms and conditions, and tab for other locations on this screen. Select buy.
The transaction process on a Bitcoiniacs ATM
After selecting buy, you will be prompted to agree to the Terms and Conditions. This page is more anti-fraud warnings than terms and conditions. Notably, every transaction includes a service fee and a Bitcoin mining fee.
If you are comfortable and consent to the terms and conditions, choose accept. The next screen will ask you to choose your transaction cash limit. That is, how much cash you plan to spend. You have two options: up to $420 Canadian and over $420 Canadian.
Next, you need to provide your phone number to receive a verification code. This is for anti-money laundering purposes. First, agree to the privacy notice.
Once you have agreed to these terms, you will be prompted to provide your phone number.
Next, you will enter the verification code. This Bitcoiniacs ATM calls it a one-time password. The password arrives very quickly via text message or SMS.
Finally, you can purchase your Bitcoin. Once the password is accepted, the QR scanning camera will activate. Scan your Bitcoin address. My bitcoin address finally worked at this Bitcoiniacs ATM.
Bitcoiniacs ATM: complete the transaction, payment, and fees
Simply insert your Canadian bills into the bill acceptor to complete the transaction. The screen has a line tallying cash inserted, the destination bitcoin address, a running exchange tally, and a section for a discount code. With a service fee of $15, you should find a discount code if you plan on using a Bitcoiniacs ATM.
Bitcoiniacs ATM: Our Rating
I like the underdog, the little guy. I like when they attempt to overcome the odds. I want to supper the underdog. Bitcoiniacs is the smallest chain of cryptocurrency ATMs that I have explored. I want them to be successful in their endeavors. However, I cannot recommend a Bitcoinacs ATM for purchasing cryptocurrency. There are too many issues and a very steep service fee preventing Bitcoiniacs from a positive review. Our review: 1.75/5
|Fees – $15 service fee/mining fee.||1/5|
|Cryptos available for purchase:||4/5|
|User experience: Two different user experiences at different ATMs. Different options and cryptocurrency availability at Bitcoiniacs ATMs means unpredictability from ATM to ATM.||1/5|
|ATMs Locations: 36 ATMs in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario.||2/5|
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About The Author: Arthur Dubois
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing.
Arthur invests in the stock market but doesn’t pay any fees because he uses National Bank Direct Brokerage online broker and Wealthsimple’s robo-advisor. He pays for his subscriptions online with his KOHO prepaid card, and uses his Tangerine credit card for most of his in-store purchases. When he buys bitcoins, it’s with the BitBuy online platform. Of course it goes without saying that he uses the Hardbacon app so that he can manage all of his finances from one convenient place.
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