Online Exchange vs Bitcoin ATM: Which Is Better?

Comparing Buying and Selling Bitcoin Online with at a Bitcoin ATM
Coin Cloud Team
, published on 
January 21, 2019
Online Exchange vs Bitcoin ATM: Which Is Better?

“Bitcoin! Buy the dips! #HODL!” Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve surely heard all the craze surrounding Bitcoin lately. Thanks to its extreme ups and downs, it seems like everybody is learning how to buy and sell Bitcoin. As the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, more and more businesses have started accepting Bitcoin as a legitimate form of payment, while others have even built applications that use Bitcoin and its core technology, blockchain. We are in the middle of a Bitcoin explosion.

But, before you can get involved with any of that, you must buy your Bitcoin first. Currently, there are two different ways that you can buy and sell Bitcoin: online and at a Bitcoin ATM (BTM). In this blog post, Coin Cloud discusses the differences between buying and selling your Bitcoin online vs buying and selling at a Bitcoin ATM.

Online Exchanges

Online is the most common method for buying and selling Bitcoin. Since Bitcoin’s inception, dozens of different online exchanges have launched. Some have come and gone as quickly as they came, while others have stuck around and continue to operate to this day. Deciding which exchange to use is ultimately a matter of preference. Below is a breakdown of buying and selling Bitcoin through an online exchange:

  • Convenience: Buying Bitcoin online can be very convenient for new and existing traders. Because it’s all online, you can buy and sell using your computer or mobile device from the comfort of your own home.
  • Anonymity: Most online exchanges require users to input both their personal and digital information to begin buying and selling Bitcoin. This means that online exchanges know your identity and have your bank account information.
  • Time: Buying and selling Bitcoin online is pretty straightforward. After creating your account and linking your debit/credit or bank account information, it's as easy as entering the amount of Bitcoin you want to buy and boom, you’ll own Bitcoin. However, online exchanges have long transaction delay times. It’s common for your newly bought Bitcoin to take 1–3 days, or even up to a week, to arrive in your wallet.

Bitcoin ATM

Bitcoin ATMs are a fairly new way to buy and sell Bitcoin. The first Bitcoin ATM wasn’t placed until 2013, 4 years after Bitcoin’s launch. Today, there are over 500 operating Bitcoin ATMs all over the world. Below is a breakdown of how Bitcoin ATMs differ from online exchanges.

  • Convenience: While Bitcoin ATMs are less available than online exchanges, more and more machines are being placed around the world every day. It’s becoming increasingly more common as Bitcoin grows in popularity. For new users who don’t want to deal with the hassle of finding their preferred online exchange, signing up and linking all of their information, Bitcoin ATMs are a great solution. In addition, there are some companies, like Coin Cloud, that allow users to pre-order their Bitcoin before arriving at the machine, making it even more convenient for the customer.
  • Anonymity: Bitcoin ATMs allow for a far more anonymous transaction. Unlike online exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs allow you to buy and sell Bitcoin using cash, while only sharing minimal personal information. As a result, users are able to keep their identity hidden. In addition, Bitcoin ATMs are a great solution to buy and sell Bitcoin for those that don’t have a bank account.
  • Time: Transactions done through a Bitcoin ATM are a lot quicker than those of an online exchange. Typically, transactions only take a couple of minutes and sometimes can be completed immediately after purchasing. Lastly, customers don’t need to create an account like they do on online exchanges. Instead, they just need to quickly verify their identity by using some of form of identification.

How To Decide?

Ultimately, deciding to buy and sell online or in person at a Bitcoin ATM is up to you. Some people don’t mind long delay times and would prefer to just handle everything from their phone or computer. Others prefer to use cash, share minimal information and receive their coin instantly. It all comes down to preference.

If you are interested in learning more about Bitcoin ATMs or want to find the nearest location to you, Coin Cloud can help. Coin Cloud boasts the largest two-way Bitcoin ATM network in the world, and our live support team is here to help you if you have any questions.

Disclaimer: The information and views supplied on the Coin Cloud blog are for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not financial advisors, so please do your research and consult with a trusted financial specialist before investing your money.

What is Coin Cloud?

Founded in 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Coin Cloud is the leading digital currency machine (DCM) operator. With over 4,500 locations nationwide, in 48 states and Brazil, Coin Cloud operates the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of 100% two-way DCMs, a more advanced version of the Bitcoin ATM. Every Coin Cloud DCM empowers you to quickly and easily buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrency options with cash.

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