One of the benefits of cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin is that it’s decentralized and allows for true peer-to-peer transactions. This means that you can buy Bitcoin and store it, without having to trust a bank to manage your funds for you.
And you can also send money, in the form of crypto, to any person in the world, without using an expensive third-party intermediary. Cryptocurrency is truly changing the financial landscape and many people across the world have come to depend on it.
Wondering how to send money using a Bitcoin ATM? Bitcoin ATMs are nifty little machines that allow you to buy and sell Bitcoin with ease.
If you are unaware of how to use a Bitcoin ATM machine, then keep reading to learn what they are and how to use them for your money transfer needs.
Benefits of Sending Money Using Bitcoin
As mentioned above, Bitcoin, along with every other cryptocurrency, is decentralized and allows for peer-to-peer transactions. In the past, and even today using fiat currency, sending money to other people, particularly in other countries, can cost a lot of money.
And the process is usually very slow, despite some of the largest companies in the world facilitating these transactions.
But today, a better way to send money to other people is using Bitcoin. Whether you need to send money to a friend who lives next door to you, or you need to send money to a friend who lives on the other side of the planet, the process is basically the same.
Bitcoin is the money of the internet. It lives on the blockchain and can go anywhere in the world. It crosses borders without concern and doesn’t need to go through a currency exchange in order to eventually reach its recipient.
So how does it work? All you have to do is buy Bitcoin for yourself. When you do, you’ll need to send it to a crypto wallet. You can send it to your own wallet first, or send it directly to your recipients’ wallet.
To send Bitcoin to another person, all you need is their public wallet address. Sending Bitcoin to this wallet address is as easy as sending an email.
It usually takes a few minutes for the transaction to complete, as it needs to be recorded on the blockchain. And you’ll pay a small fee to the network for the resources needed to record the transaction.
But your friend will then receive the Bitcoin to their personal wallet. Then, they can either keep the Bitcoin as is or convert it to cash in their home currency. They can do this by either using a Bitcoin ATM themselves, which is the fastest, or they can sell their Bitcoin through an online crypto exchange and withdraw the funds to their bank account.
Where to Buy Bitcoin
Ready to start sending money the easy way? The first step is to find a Bitcoin ATM near you. Bitcoin ATM locations are growing fast, with many to be found across the US and the world.
Check out this Bitcoin ATM for a fast, reliable, and secure user experience that will make it super easy to buy bitcoin and send it when you need to. They have over 900 ATMs across the country, so there is likely one near you.
For maximum security, they utilize identification verification services. But the benefit of this buy Bitcoin ATM is that the process is instant, whereas online it can take hours or days on some of the popular crypto exchanges.
How to Send Money Using Bitcoin
So you’ve found a Bitcoin ATM near you. Ready to send some money through it? Here’s a step-by-step guide.
Create an Account
You’ll want to create an account with the company whose ATM you’ll be using. Most allow you to create an account online, ahead of time if you would like to.
Otherwise, you can create an account using the ATM. Regulated crypto ATMs in the US will require a KYC process, which stands for know your customer. This helps to increase security and ensure people are engaged in illicit activity.
Because the ATM is a financial service, it’s required by the governing authorities that they verify your identity and ensure you aren’t trying to fund crime or terrorism, for example.
Deposit Cash Into the ATM
With an account in place, you can start your first transaction. You can either add cash or use your debit card.
You’ll insert your money now. Different companies offer different daily limits, some as low as $5,000 and some as high as $21,000.
Just don’t walk away from the ATM at this point, even if it takes a few seconds or minutes.
Convert Cash to Bitcoin
The money that you’ve inserted into the ATM will then be used to purchase Bitcoin at its current price. The price is always fluctuating, but the ATM will confirm which price you will convert your funds at.
Enter Recipients Wallet Address
Now comes the time to send the Bitcoin. You can send it directly to a friend without having your own crypto wallet.
Because Bitcoin is completely digital, it needs a place to go once you purchase it. The ATM will ask for a Bitcoin wallet address to send the newly purchased Bitcoin to.
Now, you can use your friend’s wallet address, to direct the ATM to send the funds directly to them. Depending on the ATM, you may need to type this in, which is unfortunate, since these addresses are long.
A better way, however, is to scan a QR code that you display on your smartphone. Each public wallet address can use a QR code so that machines such as ATMs can scan it, rather than require you to type out a long code.
Finish the Transaction
With the recipient’s wallet address added, your work is complete. The ATM will send the funds to their address, and there’s nothing more you need to do.
The transaction gets recorded on the public Bitcoin blockchain. In a matter of moments, wherever they are in the world, they’ll have the Bitcoin in their possession.
If they want to cash it out immediately, they can visit a Bitcoin ATM near them. They would initiate a transaction to sell Bitcoin. They then use their wallet to send the Bitcoin to the ATM.
The ATM then sells the Bitcoin at the market price and provides the user with the equivalent amount of cash in their native currency.
Voila. As easy as that was, you’ve engaged in a recent, revolutionary financial process known as decentralized finance powered by cryptocurrency.
Sending Bitcoin Without an ATM
Do you have to use a Bitcoin ATM in order to send funds to other people? Nope, it’s just easy to do.
But you can send Bitcoin, and any other cryptocurrency, directly to other people from the comfort of your own home. You can do this either through a crypto exchange or from your personal wallet.
To buy cryptocurrency online, you’ll create an account with a reputable online crypto exchange, of which there are many to choose from these days. After a longer KYC process, you’ll be ready to fund your exchange account and purchase Bitcoin.
Upon completion of your purchase, your Bitcoin will remain in your account on the crypto exchange. You can leave it there, you can send it to your own personal wallet, or you can send it to someone else.
Sending it is the equivalent of withdrawing it. So you’d initiate a withdraw, specify how much of your Bitcoin you’d like to withdraw, and then choose an address to send it to.
Here, you can enter your friend’s wallet address yet again, whether they are next door, in Asia, Africa, or anywhere else. You’ll notice a small network transaction fee that is quoted with the transaction.
Confirm that the transaction looks good, and then send it. Within a few minutes, the recipient should have some fresh Bitcoin in their wallet.
Again, they can choose to hold it or withdraw it however they want. If they have an account with a crypto exchange, they can send the Bitcoin from their personal wallet to the exchange. Then they can sell it for cash, and withdraw those funds to their bank account.
Understanding Crypto Wallets
With fiat currency, the way that you store and control it is by opening an account at a bank or credit union. When you deposit your money into this account, you are essentially lending your money to the bank.
They, in turn, lend this money out to their customers, earning interest. They then pay you basically nothing in return, often 0.1% or less.
One of the benefits of this approach is that banks are insured. They typically guarantee client balances up to $250,000, backed by the FDIC.
With cryptocurrency, you don’t use a bank to hold your funds for you. Instead, you are the sole owner of the cryptocurrency, and you are responsible for it. This has some pros and cons.
As a benefit, no one can withhold your funds from you. And no one can censor your transactions. Plus, no authorities are tracking every single transaction that you make.
The downside of truly controlling your own finances is that no one is there to back you up. If you lost access to your funds, there is no bank or customer service team to help you recover those funds. And crypto wallets aren’t guaranteed or insured by any agencies.
Basically, you’re in control of your crypto, for better or for worse.
So how do they work? Here’s what you need to know before buying, storing, and sending Bitcoin.
Opening a Wallet
Crypto wallets are the digital destination where your cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, can be stored. You can opt for hot wallets, which are software applications downloaded to your phone or computer.
Or you can purchase cold storage. These are physical devices that act as a hard drive for your crypto. You transfer your crypto to them, then disconnect them from your computer.
They aren’t actively connected to the internet, making them ultra-secure from hackers. This lack of internet connection is why they are referred to as cold storage.
Public and Private Keys
Regardless of what type of wallet you use, it will come with two keys; a private key and a public key. The public key is what you use in order to receive funds to the wallet.
So if you buy Bitcoin from an ATM, and you want to send it to your personal wallet, you would input your wallet’s public key. Or, in our example above about sending Bitcoin to a friend, you use their wallet’s public key to direct the crypto to them.
The public key is safe to share. It can only be used to receive funds, and there is no risk of losing funds by sharing your public key with the world.
The private key is like your password. You need to protect it at all costs and never share it with anyone. If anyone asks for it, they are trying to rob you.
It’s your private key that enables you to send your crypto to other places, such as crypto exchange, an ATM, or directly to another person.
But if you forget or lose your private key, you might not be able to access the funds on your crypto wallet. Therefore, you need to take steps to ensure this doesn’t happen.
You should write down the private key on a sheet of paper and keep it in a secure location. You can also print the image of the QR code generated by your private key. Private keys also come with recovery phrases. Write this down as well.
If you store a lot of crypto in your wallet, then you should keep these documents as safe as possible. Use a lockbox in our home to ensure no one steals them, and you don’t lose them.
Now that you know how to buy Bitcoin using an ATM, how to send money to others using cryptocurrency, and how to store crypto yourself using a digital wallet, you have the power to become your own bank.
You no longer need to rely exclusively on the services of big banks, but can instead rely on decentralized technology that isn’t trying to rip you off.
Of course, great power comes with great responsibility. To unbank yourself means to trust yourself to keep your funds safe and secure. Don’t take this task lightly.
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