The bitcoin ATM is one of those fragments of universal language that can make you understand almost any country in the world. They are machines connected to the banking system that allows you to withdraw cash from your account.

Bitcoin is a digital currency with no physical form and no central authority. As a result, the machines in Walmart and elsewhere worldwide function differently from the ATMs you are used to.

How does a Bitcoin ATM Work?


To buy Bitcoin from an ATM, you will need two things. Cash and a Bitcoin wallet. Read this article first if you are unsure what a Bitcoin wallet is or does.

To provide your Bitcoin address details by allowing the machine to scan a QR code from a Bitcoin wallet on your phone. It is where the ATM will send the Bitcoin once you have purchased it. It is safe since a public address system only allows the entry of funds, not the exit.

What does a Bitcoin ATM do?

The main functions of Bitcoin ATMs are to allow you to buy Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrencies) with cash or to sell Bitcoin for cash.

That cash is slowly losing approval as a form of money. So it seems somewhat ironic that it is the only form of payment that Bitcoin ATMs accept.

The big problem here is that ATMs would become money laundering traps because Bitcoin is anonymous. So they limit the amount you can buy or sell.

Disadvantages of Bitcoin ATMs

  • Aside from that, Bitcoin ATMs only handle cash. The fees are pretty eye-popping but in line with supermarkets’ standard exchange form: converting coins to cash.
  • The appeal of currency to cash converters is convenience. Very few places, including banks, will provide the service. As long as coins remain in circulation for a long time, there is a demand to convert large amounts into something more convenient, regardless of exorbitant fees.
  • Their nature has also made them a criminal target, either to launder money or as part of various online scams. However, this is a small but persistent element of crypto-currencies in general and not exclusive to ATMs, although they provide a route to physical cash, which criminals prefer.
  • It seems that Walmart’s decision to test ATMs is essential because it puts Bitcoin on par with a large audience of ordinary Americans. It is improbable that they will use the machines on impulse. But as they slump over their cart, waiting in line


The cash has been accept, and the machine will process the transaction, which you can confirm in your mobile wallet. You may have to wait to make sure the transaction is approved, but the machine will provide you with a receipt for the transaction.