What Are The Risks Of Using A Bitcoin ATM?


Bitcoin ATMs offer several benefits to users and the crypto community at large. However, there is an inherent risk whenever you’re dealing with financial technology. Luckily, there are things companies can do to lower risk for their users.

Bitcoin ATMs offer a ton of benefits to their users. They’re fast, easy to use, and super accessible. They’re also a great option for people who want to exchange their crypto for cash (or vice versa). However, there will be risks any time you purchase or use crypto technology. What are the risks of using Bitcoin ATM? Keep reading to learn about the risks and rewards of using a digital currency kiosk.

About Bitcoin ATMs

Bitcoin ATMs are kiosks that allow users to buy and sell cryptocurrency with cash. They are fast, easy to use, and highly accessible – making them a popular choice for many.

Bitcoin ATMs work by securely processing transactions using blockchain technology so that users can convert crypto to cash and vice versa. They also typically charge a small fee to cover overhead costs.

The Risks of Using a Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs offer several benefits to users and the crypto community at large. However, there is an inherent risk whenever you’re dealing with financial technology. Luckily, there are things companies can do to lower risk for their users.

1. Unsafe Locations

While most Bitcoin ATMs are located in everyday locations like supermarkets or grocery stores, you should be wary of Bitcoin ATMs in unsafe locations. Just as you wouldn’t want to risk performing a cash transaction at a regular ATM in an unsafe location, you wouldn’t want to make a Bitcoin ATM transaction somewhere that didn’t feel secure.

You should always look up the location of the Bitcoin ATM you plan to use before visiting, especially if it’s your first time using that kiosk or Bitcoin ATM operator. Most legitimate operators take security measures to ensure their Bitcoin ATMs are in safe spaces.

At Coinme, we strategically place our Bitcoin ATMs in secure locations such as well-known supermarkets and grocery stores.

2. Unlicensed Operators

Governments across the world began regulating Bitcoin ATMs in the past few years to ensure the safety and security of users. In 2021, the United States saw similar regulations that qualified Bitcoin ATMs as official money service businesses, meaning they must comply with Federal regulations to receive licensure. Licensed Bitcoin ATM operators are low-risk to use, and you should always seek out a Bitcoin ATM provided by a company that is registered with the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Coinme is proud to be the first licensed Bitcoin ATM operator in the United States. We consistently comply with Federal standards and strive to ensure our customers’ safety and security during every transaction.

3. Novelty

There is an inherent risk in using anything new. While Bitcoin ATMs have been around for over a decade, they’re still considered new—just like crypto as a whole. The good news is that governments and Bitcoin ATM operators are doing more every day to ensure Bitcoin ATMs are a safe and secure place for people to purchase and sell cryptocurrency with cash.

4. Lack of Customer Support

Several Bitcoin ATM providers do not offer any customer service at all, while others provide the bare minimum. Many see this as a risk – and they should. What if something goes wrong during your transaction, and you need to contact someone right away? Being able to quickly get in touch with a Bitcoin ATM operator to solve an issue provides a sense of security and trust in your provider.

At Coinme, we offer robust and responsive customer support. We want to help you when you need it, and we won’t leave you scrolling the web trying to find the best way to get in touch.

5. Volatility of Markets

Any type of asset always includes some sort of risk, and cryptocurrency is no different. Whether you’re purchasing Bitcoin, Dogecoin, or Ethereum, it’s always important to consider the volatility in crypto markets. Cryptocurrency values can change constantly, even seeing dramatic variances. You should always be prepared to accept these risks before purchasing crypto.

6. Scams

Bad actors have targeted cash ATMs and Bitcoin ATMs alike to trick people into sending them thousands of dollars, never to be heard from again. While this risk isn’t specific to Bitcoin ATMs, it’s always a good topic to cover.

Follow these steps to avoid scams (at Bitcoin ATMs or otherwise):

  • Never send money to someone you don’t know
  • Never share login information
  • Never transfer funds under pressure

The Rewards of Bitcoin ATMs

You can’t talk about the risks of Bitcoin ATMs without talking about the rewards! And while there are risks, Coinme constantly strives to reduce and even remove them – meaning you can enjoy the rewards even more.

Fast and Easy

Bitcoin ATMs are quick and simple to use, making them a popular choice for beginners and experts alike. They allow you to quickly purchase crypto with cash or sell your crypto for cash in moments. This is perhaps the biggest reward of all for Bitcoin ATM users.


Bitcoin ATMs are widely popular because they are easily available. They bring an often lofty-seeming crypto world to your neighborhood, making cryptocurrency more accessible to many. They also open up the world of crypto to those who don’t have bank accounts. Additionally, it’s fair to admit that the current financial systems don’t provide an equal opportunity for all to thrive. Making cryptocurrency more accessible through Bitcoin ATMs promotes the idea that everyone has a fair chance at financial prosperity.

Crypto-to-Cash Connection

The crypto world often seems intangible. After all, it is a digital currency. That’s why another great thing about Bitcoin ATMs is that they connect the intangible crypto world to the tangible feeling of cash in hand. Doing this not only makes cryptocurrency feel more accessible, but it also makes it easier to buy and sell! 

Buy and Sell Directly from Your Crypto Wallet

Bitcoin ATMs can be some of the safest and most secure methods of buying and selling crypto. That’s because you can exchange crypto at a Bitcoin ATM directly from your crypto wallet, without any need to send or receive your crypto to other wallets.

Where to Find a Bitcoin ATM

Finding a Bitcoin ATM doesn’t have to be difficult. There are tons of Bitcoin ATM locators across the Internet. These useful tools allow you to enter your location or zip code and see a map of available Bitcoin ATMs near you.

While Bitcoin ATM locators are incredibly helpful tools, you should always be cautious. Many don’t use proper sources, and others may even point you to non-existent or unlicensed locations.

It’s always best to use a Bitcoin ATM locator run by the Bitcoin ATM operator you’ll be using. Doing so lowers your risk of ending up at a Bitcoin ATM in an unsafe location. You should also ensure that the operator is licensed.

Safely Buy and Sell Crypto with Coinme

Coinme is proudly licensed with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network and offers safe Bitcoin ATM locations in grocery stores across the United States. In fact, we were the first licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the country!

We also provide robust customer support and an easy-to-use Bitcoin ATM locator that helps you find one of our 40,000+ Bitcoin and participating ATM locations. Our goal is to provide low-risk, safe, and accessible Bitcoin ATM locations to more people.

If you’re ready to start buying and selling cryptocurrency for cash, sign up for an account today.

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