Purchasing Bitcoin is no longer a tedious process and many Canadians are beginning to understand that. When you want to invest in a cryptocurrency asset like Bitcoin at a physical location, there weren’t any options in the past, but crypto automated teller machines (ATMs) are looking to change that.
Although they are still few and far between, using a crypto ATM is a lot like using a cryptocurrency exchange. While online exchanges have become the norm, ATMs were the first place you could purchase Bitcoin, with the first one in the world popping up in Vancouver in 2013. You can find them in convenience stores throughout Canada, as well as malls and various coffee shops. You may not have noticed them before, but we’re certain you will now.
- How many crypto ATMs are available in Canada?
- Locating a crypto ATM in Canada
- The utility of crypto ATMs
- Getting started: how to purchase crypto from an ATM
- What about using a printed paper receipt for machine-generated wallets?
- Invest in Bitcoin through crypto ATMs
- Frequently asked questions about Crypto ATMs
How many crypto ATMs are available in Canada?
As of 2022, there are around 1,051 crypto ATMs available for use in Canada. The number of crypto ATMS doubled from July 2020 to 2021. This coincided with the record crypto gains and increased investor interest during that period. About 83% of these ATMs were connected through one network that covered the entirety of North America.
It’s also important to take note of which providers are reputable and offer the most secure transactions when using a Bitcoin ATM. Finding an “off-brand” ATM isn’t a common occurrence, but it’s something that you’ll need to be aware of when it comes to investing in crypto with cash. If the ATM is being offered by any of the brands listed below, you can make your purchase with peace of mind:
Localcoin (821 ATMs)
Bitcoin Well (229 ATMs)
HoneyBadger (199 ATMs)
Bitcoin Depot (198 ATMs)
Instacoin (151 ATMs)
Hodl Digital Services (151 ATMs)
Bitnational (140 ATMs)
FastBTC (93 ATMs)
Bitcoin4U (69 ATMs)
Bitcoiniacs (54 ATMs)
Most of the machines you’re interacting with are also manufactured by two companies. First is Genesis Coin , which makes 34.6% of machines. The second company is General Bytes, which manufactures 30.3% of machines. Of course, there a few others sprinkled into the mix.
Locating a crypto ATM in Canada
There are over crypto 1,000 ATMs spread throughout Canada and it’s much easier to find them now than it was in the past. You can use a website like Coin ATM Radar to see where they’re placed throughout the country, as well as identify any that are close in proximity to you. This website will also tell you the provider of the ATM, whether it’s available 24/7, and even how many are in a geographic cluster.
The utility of crypto ATMs
Some people just want a quick way to get their hands on some Bitcoin or other assets. Others don’t have the time required to sign up on one of the top 15 Canadian exchanges. Crypto ATMs are a convenient investment opportunity for both curious beginners and seasoned cryptocurrency experts.
There are two different types of ATMs, each of which allows you to engage in trading cash for Bitcoin. The basic ATM focuses on only the sale of Bitcoin and allows you to purchase it with physical cash. The more advanced ATM option allows you to both buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC).
What’s the point of using a crypto ATM?
Most people argue that money laundering is the sole purpose of crypto ATMs, but that isn’t the case at all. There are always going to be bad apples in every community. Crypto ATMs exist is to help increase the speed at which crypto is adopted by the public.The number of these machines is gradually increasing in Canada. They also allow people to learn more about cryptocurrency in general including how to secure their crypto with wallets and how to track their assets.
While convenient, the fees are significantly higher compared to traditional banking fees. Purchasing $20 of Bitcoin can cost an additional $2.75 plus 10% on top of that. That means that your $20 of Bitcoin will cost you an extra $4.75. These fees will also vary in price according to which kind of crypto ATM you use use. A Bitcoin4U machine cost an added 8% to 12% in fees on top of the $1.50 base charge. Therefore, the $20 of Bitcoin costs roughly $3.90 extra.
The easiest way to purchase crypto with cash?
Although there are plenty of different ways to buy Bitcoin in 2022, one of the easiest methods is using a BTC ATM. There are no questions asked, and the crypto is sent directly to your wallet. You simply invest in the crypto industry with physical cash. Just remember the fees you have to pay.
Getting started: how to purchase crypto from an ATM
It may seem complicated if this is your first time investing in cryptocurrency, but thankfully, crypto ATMs make the process simple. If you’ve got cash on hand and are ready to enter the crypto space, just find a crypto ATMand follow the steps below. If you can, try and find a Localcoin machine to get the optimal crypto ATM experience possible.
Step 1. Tap the screen to start your transaction
Step 2. Select the coin you’d like to purchase. I am purchasing Bitcoin here.
Step 3. Read through the Terms & Conditions
Step 4. Verify your identity using your mobile phone number. This is a know-your-customer (KYC) process.
Step 5. Scan your wallet QR code enter your address manually if prompted.
Step 6. Insert the cash into the machine. It will display the value you’ve deposited. Then select “Purchase”
That’s it! You’ve just purchased Bitcoin using cash through a crypto ATM! Now that you understand the process, you can do it whenever you’d like. Be sure to keep your receipt and transaction number somewhere safe just in case, especially for tax purposes if you’re purchasing a larger amount.
After completing your purchase, check your wallet to make sure the transaction has gone through once the required confirmations are complete. Bitcoin transactions can take a few minutes most of the time. If the network is slow, it can take around 30 minutes to an hour.
What about using a printed paper receipt for machine-generated wallets?
There are also times when an individual will not have their wallet set up before making a purchase, in which case, the machine will automatically generate one for you. Keeping your Bitcoin stored on a paper wallet is never ideal. You need to transfer it to a more secure location as soon as possible.
If you must, you will be allowed to purchase Bitcoin from an ATM without access to a personal wallet of your own in Canada. You need access to an application like Breadwallet or Mycelium. Without these apps, your purchase will be forever stuck in crypto limbo until the paper wallet eventually expires.
Invest in Bitcoin through crypto ATMs
If you have cash on hand and are ready to join the cryptocurrency community, finding a crypto ATM near you is a great place to start. Financial freedom is something that we all want, but making the right investments is a key component to finding that. Although volatile, Bitcoin is an asset that has a chance at changing people’s lives for the better, but you’ve always got to purchase some for yourself first.
Frequently asked questions about Crypto ATMs
Most ATMs will implement limits and have customers verify their identity using a text message or email. KYC (know-your-customer) is a common process when you’re signing up for an exchange, and it can also be applied to Bitcoin ATMs if you’d like a higher limit.
No, they only work with cash. You can either buy Bitcoin using cash or sell it and receive the proceeds of the sale in cash immediately.
Of course, you can! You don’t have to dive headfirst into your investment and can purchase a small amount to get started. You’ll likely be purchasing fractional amounts anyway, as an entire Bitcoin costs thousands of dollars.
You must have a QR code with you, but this does not imply that you must bring a computer and attempt to scan it from the screen. You can print a QR code from your wallet and bring it with you on paper to scan. The simplest way to find your address is to go to blockchain.info, put in your address and click search. Find your address and the QR code will be displayed along with other blockchain data.
Bitcoin ATMs should not be used to buy or sell Bitcoin for yourself. If you’re sending bitcoin to a family member or someone in another country, you should first confirm their wallet address before sending the bitcoin through your bitcoin wallet. Sending cryptocurrency from your wallet to another wallet is another topic that should be researched and understood well in advance.
Different machines may run into different errors. This was much more common a few years ago, but Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ATMs have since undergone a lot of improvements and are now very reliable. However, the best option is to contact the bitcoin ATM operator of the machine you used so that they can resolve the issue for you. Typically, you can find this information on the machine you are using.
Some machines can handle such large transactions, while others cannot. You must inspect specific locations in the surrounding area. Regarding verifications, this varies by operator, but for a large amount, you will probably have to do a higher level of verifications prior to doing the transaction (e.g. phone verification via SMS + ID scan verification). However, this is dependent on the location you are using, so please double-check ahead of time.
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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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