The first bitcoin ATM was in Vancouver, Canada and opened on the 29th of October 2013. If you don’t know yet, a bitcoin ATM operates like any other regular ATM, except it lets you exchange your cryptocurrencies for cash. We took a closer look at the history of cryptocurrency ATM’s and just how they work on the inside.
South African Bitcoin ATM’s
Did you know that SA has Bitcoin ATM’s already? The first was set up in Midrand (Kyalami) at the Metroman salon. Yes, there are luckily more. You can keep an eye on CoinATMRadar to find out where else you can find bitcoin ATM’s in South Africa or the rest of the world.
How does it work?
Not sure what to do your first time at a cryptocurrency ATM? it’s pretty straightforward, though not everyone in the world is tech-savvy. Here’s an explanatory video of how to use the ATM once you’re in front of it thanks to Knowledge is Power on YouTube. You can also take a look at “How to Use a Bitcoin ATM” from Business Insider.
More Bitcoin ATM Maps
Other countries have also begun to invest in Bitcoin ATM’s, and you should now be able to find one almost anywhere in the world – Malta, for example, just got their first Cryptocurrency ATM, too. If you’re traveling and in need of a bitcoin ATM, try some of these websites.
It turns out that the patent for cryptocurrency ATM’s are a hot commodity: In December 2017 it came to light that DNA Dynamics Inc. was about to buy the patent for Bitcoin ATM’s. What this means is that other manufacturers basing off that patent in the US will, basically, have to pay royalties for the use thereof. Whoops…
Inside Bitcoin ATM’s
Thanks to websites like Google Patents, we can go digging in the patent archives to find out a little more about how bitcoin ATM’s work.
The “bitcoin kiosk” is registered as US Patent 9135787 B1, and was filed on the 4th of April 2014. The inventors are listed as Mark Russell and John W. Russell.
According to the patent, the Bitcoin ATM contains “a bill validator, a bill dispenser, printer, code scanner, touch screen display, computer power in the form of a processor / controller and internet connection means.
It also says “the stand-alone device may contain other components such as a backup power supply.”
Verification is offered with super safe, high-tech options and offers several levels of security for users. First, the user enters their phone number registered to their Bitcoin wallet. Second, an OTP is sent to the user and entered into the ATM. Third, the user enters their personal PIN number. Fourth, the machine then reads the user’s palm vein pattern.
The last two verification steps to access your bitcoin involves the user posing for a photo and scanning their passport. You can read the entire patent over here on Google Patents.
See why you might want to check out the guide at the top before making your first trip to a bitcoin ATM?