A Bitcoin ATM is a machine that works just like any other ATM, it’s a device that allows you to buy or sell Bitcoins with cash without the need of a human. Some are also accepting other popular cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin and Litecoin.

History of Bitcoin ATMs

The first Bitcoin ATM was the Robocoin ATM and was available for operation starting October 29, 2013 in Vancouver where it then handled 1,000,000 CAD in volume the following month. There are currently 4 in the US, 4 in Canada, One in the UK, and one in the Singapore, with more continually being added. Lamassu and BitAccess vendors were the next to take the initiative.

Manufactures of Bitcoin ATMs

As of now, many companies besides Robocoin make ATMs. Here is a list of major Bitcoin ATMs.

BitAccess — Located in Ottawa Ontario. Advertises fair prices due to the fact the ATMs are linked to multiple exchange sites. 4 ATMs are in Canada, and one in France.
BitXatm — More of an “open” ATM. Is available in multiple colors, and can be programmed to accept any fiat and cryptocurrency. Capable of point of sale transaction, and AML/KYC compliant.
Genesis 1 — US based. Accepts Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Bitcoin. Allows buying or selling of mentioned currencies. Has an optional fingerprint scanner for more security and is AML/KYC compliant.  One in United States and one in Canada.
Lamassu — Boasts an exchange of fiat to Bitcoin in 15 seconds, and accepts currencies from over 200 countries. Based in New Hampshire. With 3 in the United States and Canada, as well as 15 sprinkled over Europe and Asia, is by far the most popular ATM model available.
LocalBitcoins — Make two way ATMs allowing people to buy or sell bitcoins. Made in Finland.

Importance of Bitcoin ATMs

Besides offering convenience for the user, Bitcoin ATMs also:

  • Increase adoption rate — Many will see a Bitcoin  ATM, and become exposed to what exactly a Bitcoin is. The more people know, the more people that will adopt Bitcoin.
  • Increased availability — If people are away from their computer or do not own a ASIC, it is still possible for people to purchase and/or sell bitcoins.
  • Increased Liquidity —  Due to the previous two reasons, there are now more buyers and sellers, allowing for a more stable market price that can’t be changed by one individual entity.

 So where are these ATMs?

Using website resources such as  http://bitcoinatmmap.com/  or http://coinatmradar.com/  to name a couple will allow you to locate where the closest Bitcoin ATMs are at. As of now, they are in the most dense areas, so to speak. Sprinkled in Canada and USA, you’ll be hard pressed to find them there; you’ll have an easier time to find them in Europe or Asia.  Dubai in specific should be relatively easy, as there are plans to add 400 ATMs. More time will allow for more ATMs and higher adoption rate, so if one is not in your area, give it some time. One day they shall be just as common as a fiat ATM.