How To Use A Bitcoin ATM In Australia

Last Updated on December 24, 2023 by

The concept of Bitcoin ATMs can be confusing for some as they are relatively new phenomena. But they actually aren’t complicated and the number of BTC ATMs is increasing across Australia and worldwide according to the latest usage statistics. This tutorial will explain what is a Bitcoin ATM, how they work, and a step-by-step guide on how to use a Bitcoin ATM in Australia.

What Is A Bitcoin ATM?

A Bitcoin ATM (Automated Teller Machine) is an internet-connected kiosk that allows you to transfer cash to buy Bitcoin. Alternatively, you can also sell your Bitcoin back to cash. Although similar to a traditional bank ATM where you deposit and withdraw cash, the difference here is that you exchange cash for BTC.

Bitcoin ATMs comprise a small monitor, a QR code scanner, a cash acceptor, and a cash dispenser. Instead of being connected to a bank account, Bitcoin ATMs are connected to leading Australian cryptocurrency exchanges to track the market price of Bitcoin.

How To Use A Bitcoin ATM In Australia

You can use your money to buy BTC at a Bitcoin ATM by following the steps below.

  1. Open your Bitcoin wallet and press ‘Receive’.
  2. Access the private key by scanning the QR code using your mobile device.
  3. Enter the amount of AUD to spend and slip the notes in the acceptor.
  4. Complete 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) and verify your identity.
  5. Review the transaction and hit ‘Confirm’.

How Do Bitcoin ATMs Work?

Like traditional ATMs, Bitcoin ATMs consist of four key components: a touch monitor, a cash acceptor and dispenser, and a QR scanner. In terms of using them to buy or sell Bitcoin, the process can essentially be broken down into two steps.

The ATM will present a series of prompts where you can either buy Bitcoin with cash or sell it back to AUD. To buy Bitcoin, you can enter the amount of AUD to deposit, slip in your cash notes, and scan the QR code that is shown on the screen. The QR code enables access to a private key and facilitates the transfer of Bitcoin to your external hardware wallet.

Generally, the same process and QR code apply when you want to sell Bitcoin from your external wallet. You would input the amount of BTC to sell, scan the QR code for your wallet, and collect the AUD cash that is dispensed from the ATM.

As a security measure, you will need to complete the 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) before the transaction can be completed. In Australia, the method of demonstrating your identity depends on the ATM provider. However, scanning your driver’s licence or Australian passport will be sufficient. Some Bitcoin ATMs will require you to complete 2-Factor Authentication (2FA) by sending a text message to your mobile device.

Guide on How To Use A Bitcoin ATM To Buy Bitcoin

Step 1 – Open your Bitcoin wallet app

The first step is setting up your Bitcoin wallet app on your mobile device to accept Bitcoin from the ATM. After you enter the amount of AUD cash to spend, you can use your app to scan the QR code displayed on the ATM’s touchscreen. Follow the prompts on the touch screen and choose if you want to buy BTC with AUD or convert it to cash.

Step 2 – Scan the QR code

A unique QR code will be displayed on the monitor. Scanning the QR code using your mobile device will enable access to a private key.

Step 3 – Deposit AUD

After scanning the QR code, input the AUD that you want to convert into BTC and slip the money into the cash acceptor. You can usually see the amount of cash inserted as well as the rate for Bitcoin on the screen.

Step 4 – Complete 2FA to verify your identity

When you have finished depositing money, press ‘Finish’. Before the transaction can be completed, 2FA will need to be satisfied. This is usually done by entering the numerical code that is sent to your mobile device. Scanning your Australian passport or driver’s licence will also be required to verify your identity.

Step 5 – Review the details and confirm

Once your identity has been verified, an overview of the transaction will be presented on the touchscreen. Review the amount of AUD spent, the rate for Bitcoin, and the fees incurred. Press ‘Confirm’ to execute the transaction and check your wallet for the Bitcoin to be received as a ‘deposit’.

Types of Bitcoin ATMs

There are two types of Bitcoin ATMs in Australia, unidirectional and bidirectional. Unidirectional ATMs only allow you to buy BTC with cash. In comparison, bidirectional ATMs let you buy BTC but also allow you to sell it back to cash. In Australia, the vast majority of Bitcoin ATMs are bidirectional.

How Much Are Bitcoin ATM Fees?

Bitcoin ATMs in Australia will charge a fee for using the service that typically ranges between 7% and 25% of the transaction value, where 15% is the average. The high fees come with the privacy and convenience that an ATM provides and will outweigh the cost of performing smaller Bitcoin transactions. A part of the fee goes to the ATM provider.

Are Bitcoin ATMs Safe In Australia?

Bitcoin ATMs are safe and secure places to conduct BTC transactions with Australian Dollars. Since KYC protocols need to be completed by verifying your identity, the chances of fraud are low. Additionally, all Bitcoin ATMs will require you to complete 2FA processes. So even if someone can steal your identity, they cannot access your Bitcoin or cash unless they also obtain your mobile device. The private keys to your external hardware wallet where the Bitcoin will be stored should only be known to you.

Where Can I Find A Bitcoin ATM In Australia?

In Australia, you can typically find Bitcoin ATMs in highly trafficked places such as cafés, bars, shopping malls, and supermarkets. Currently, there are 169 Bitcoins across the country with the vast majority located in capital cities. Melbourne has the largest number of Bitcoin ATMs at 49, followed by Sydney with 34.

To find your nearest Bitcoin ATM, read the following:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do You Need for a Bitcoin ATM?

To buy or sell Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM, you will need your mobile device to complete 2FA requirements, your external hardware wallet, and a form of government-issued identification such as an Australian passport or driver’s license.

Can You Buy or Sell Bitcoin Anonymously?

Most Bitcoin ATMs require at least a phone number verification, to create an account with the ATM operator. Transactions themselves are anonymous, unless your ID is already linked to that wallet address.

Can you buy Bitcoin using a credit card at a Bitcoin ATM?

No, most Bitcoin ATMs don’t allow you to buy Bitcoin with a credit card and only support deposits of cash. This is one of the advantages of using a Bitcoin ATM since the chances of fraud are minimal.

Is there a cash withdrawal limit on Bitcoin ATMs?

Depending on the Bitcoin ATM provider, the upper cash withdrawal limit is around $10,000. This is entirely determined by the BTM operator, so it could be as low as $1,000 or as high as $20,000 per transaction.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. It's important to understand that digital assets are risky, you should always do your own research and analysis before making any material decisions related to any of the products or services described. This article is not intended as, and shall not be construed as, financial advice.