Stephen Collie Enterprises New Zealand

How did you first hear about bitcoin? Maybe you saw a story on the news and did some research. Perhaps a friend or family member told you about it, and you were intrigued. You might have even seen a bitcoin ATM in your local mall or grocery store and decided to check it out.

No matter how you heard about bitcoin, you probably realize by now that bitcoin is here to stay. However, the steps involved in making your first purchase can appear to be daunting. But don’t worry!

In this blog post, we will explain the basics of bitcoin ATMs and kiosks and help you find your nearest kiosk. Most of all, we will give you the confidence to make your bitcoin purchase and join the financial system of the future!

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks are much like the standard ATMs you see every day. When you deposit cash into a traditional ATM, you enter your debit card first to access your account. Once you have finished depositing money into the ATM (minus any transaction fees) it’s credited into your bank account.

Bitcoin ATM

A Coinme ATM in a local shopping center

Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks work very much the same way with a few simple differences. Instead of a debit card, you typically scan or show your government-issued ID or enter your phone number, so the ATM or kiosk can verify where to send the bitcoin. Much like a traditional ATM, you will insert cash bills into the machine, but instead of depositing U.S dollars, it automatically exchanges that money for the equivalent amount of bitcoin.

When using a bitcoin ATM, like a Coinme for example, you will receive a deposit of bitcoin directly into your digital wallet (which operates much like your bank account, but for storing digital currency like bitcoin.) When you are using a Bitcoin kiosk, such as a Coinstar kiosk powered by Coinme, you receive a redemption code on your receipt that you must enter online later to receive your bitcoin.

Some Bitcoin ATMs also offer two-way functionality which allows for you to do the same transaction in reverse: Withdraw bitcoin that is immediately exchanged into US dollars that are then dispensed from that ATM.

How Do I Use A Bitcoin ATM?

Using a bitcoin ATM or kiosk is quite simple and often offers the easiest and most secure way to purchase bitcoin for cash. The screen itself typically provides a step-by-step tutorial, but for this article, we will show you how simple it is using a Coinstar kiosk, powered by Coinme.

When you approach the kiosk, you simple hit get started and select the option that says “Buy Bitcoin. After you review the brief terms and conditions, you are directed to enter your phone number. This part of the process ensures your security and links your phone number to the bitcoin purchase so no one else can gain access to your bitcoin.

After that is complete, you will see on the screen the exchange rate for your bitcoin purchase, and you can then enter your dollar bills into the bill acceptor. Typically this is down and to the right of the screen. Once you have inserted all your bills, you can verify the amount entered and hit the buy bitcoin button on the lower, right-hand side of the screen.

Once you have finished your purchase, the kiosk will print out your receipt. This is important to keep safe and secure, as it does include your bitcoin redemption code. As we mentioned above, you will need to visit Coinme.com/redeem and enter that code along with your phone number to have your bitcoin deposited into your digital wallet.

What Do I Do Next?

After you have finished purchasing your bitcoin, the process of redeeming the voucher is simple as well. Once you have your receipt, you can visit Coinme.com/redeem and begin the redemption process.

After you have entered in the needed information, you will be directed to create your very own Coinme wallet. Follow the step-by-step guide on your laptop or cell phone. The entire process is simple, secure, and should only take a few moments. After that process is complete, you will be able to see your bitcoin balance in your Coinme wallet.

Coinstar Bitcoin Voucher

If you are already a Coinme customer, log in to your Coinme Wallet and click on the tab that says “Redeem.” Enter your phone number and the redemption code you received at the kiosk. You can then return to the main account page, and your balance will reflect the purchase you just made.

Is A Bitcoin ATM Safe?

While this does vary based on the company operating the machine, customer safety is a primary area of focus for Coinme. We take multiple steps to ensure the security of your account including ATM and kiosk locations and service and support from our team.

We have a dedicated team of developers and engineers continually looking at all aspects of machine security, providing a safe and secure user experience for all of our customers. Our support team is also available Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm PT.

We also ensure our ATMs and kiosks are in well-lit, public spaces like shopping malls and grocery stores, providing a safe and secure user experience for everyone.

Are Bitcoin ATMs Legal?

Bitcoin ATMs are legal to use, however, there are levels of regulations on both the federal and state level for ATM and kiosk companies to operate legally in the United States.

The primary federal law is Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and operators like Coinme need to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN and have Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) programs in place. State-level regulation varies from state to state, but typically, operators must register for money transmitter license (MTL) or as a money service business (MSB).

Coinme is proud to have been the first licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the United States and as part of our commitment to safety and security, all customers must submit their ID’s through our KYC verification process. The purpose of this program is to help prevent money laundering and other financial crimes and it adds an extra layer of security by ensuring no one but you can gain access to your account.

How Do I Find A Bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks have grown in popularity in recent years, making it easier than ever to find a location close to you. While there are websites like CoinATMRadar that show you ATMs based on your location, not all ATMs and kiosks listed are licensed and operating legally.

Coinme is the first licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the United States and thanks to our collaboration with Coinstar we now operate the largest bitcoin kiosk network in the United States with over 2,500 locations across 21 states and the District of Columbia.

To find the nearest location to you, visit Coinme.com/Locations and enter your location into the search bar. You will find the closest location to you and can even click further to receive detailed directions via Google Maps.

Conclusion

You now hopefully have the knowledge and confidence to make your first purchase at a bitcoin ATM or kiosk!

Hopefully, you will share your knowledge with others so everyone so your friends and family will also be able to join the financial system of the future safely and securely.


This article by Dom Garrett was originally published on Coinme.com


Featured Image Courtesy of Pixabay

How to get into a bitcoin business that works

Blockchain technology is expanding at an astonishing rate. This technology is creating a prosperous environment for entrepreneurs seeking to start a Bitcoin business. It has been an exciting ride for BTC investors, and over the last nine years, considerable growth has occurred in the crypto space. Today, there are numerous Bitcoin business opportunities to consider.

Homework Time

Your quest for the perfect BTC business should start with research. Bitcoin business opportunities are everywhere, but it is important to remember that not all countries are pro-bitcoin. China allowed only one BTC ATM to operate until banning ICOs in the country last year. Today, that BTC ATM sits in the lobby of the headquarters of BTCC, decorated like a Christmas tree, with no BTC available.

Lawyer Time

To avoid losing your investment, you should consult your local legislation before choosing a particular business model. Countries vary on their crypto legalities. To avoid a worst-case scenario, such as getting thrown in jail and having all of your crypto confiscated, you need to consult with your local government. A lawyer can make this part of the process easier.

Some lawyers specialize in cryptocurrency related manners, such as Lee Schneider from the prestigious law firm McDermott Will & Emery. Mr. Schneider explained how his practice is now solely dedicated to blockchain technology in a recent interview with theinformation.com. He’s not alone either. There are a growing number of law firms turning to the budding crypto market in search of new clientele.

Consider Your Funding

Your available funding will play a crucial role in determining what business model best fits your criteria. Not all Bitcoin businesses cost the same. There are various low cost start up BTC businesses, such as BTC ATMs and merchandise. You can start either of these businesses for under $20,000

Bitcoin ATM

There are also BTC businesses that require very large investments. You will need significant capital if you are considering opening a sizable mining operation. ASIC mining rigs are expensive to purchase and operate. You could very easily spend a significant amount of your funding on mining rigs alone.

For example, the current industry standard is the Antminer s9. These units cost $698. A large size mining operation could easily consist of one hundred Antminer s9s. Many large mining farms even include thousands of mining rigs. A mining farm of this size would require a $700,000 investment before any other costs involved with the business, such as location, staffing, and installation.

Bitcoin Lending Services

Bitcoin lending specializes in providing startup capital. These services can bolster your funding significantly when used correctly. Bitcoin lending services can be a great way for you to start a Bitcoin business without spending all of your hard earned crypto. One example of a Bitcoin lending platform is Unchained Capital.

Unchained Capital will lend you USD and allow you to use your Bitcoin or Ethereum as collateral. Users are permitted to borrow up to 50 percent of the value of their crypto collateral. And, the loans are available for three-month and two-year terms. The downside is that you’re looking at a ten to fourteen percent interest rate on your loan. But, you may find that your potential business can accommodate for these interest rates and still produce a sizable profit.

Popular Bitcoin Businesses to Consider

There are a number of popular types of BTC businesses flourishing across the globe. You will find that some of these are better suited to your location than others. There is no one-size-fits-all when discussing Bitcoin businesses. Only research will help you to determine the best investment options. Let’s take a moment to look at a couple of the most popular BTC business models seen today.

BTC ATM

Bitcoin ATMs are starting to become more popular. These devices allow users to purchase, send, and sell BTC anonymously. The cost for this anonymity comes in the form of transaction fees that are much higher than online alternatives such as Coinbase. A BTC ATM can provide you with a significant income if placed in the right location. You will want to verify their legality in your country before purchasing a unit.

The advantage of a BTC ATM is that it is an automated business system, which only requires you to keep the machines hot wallet stocked with BTC. The downside is that price fluctuations can affect the value of the BTC in your hot wallet. In many countries, such as the US, your BTC ATM will only be permitted to sell BTC to users. Selling BTC directly for fiat without KYC compliance is illegal in the US because of the fiat currency laws. Customers can buy all the BTC they want from your machines, but they will have to go somewhere else to sell it.

BTC Remittance

Bitcoin remittance firms are booming across the globe. Remittance firms send money internationally. Nations such as India and South Africa rely heavily on remittance payments. BTC remittance firms can provide these clients with a cost-effective alternative to the traditional process of sending money internationally. Crypto remittance services provide clients with instant transactions and reduced rates. A crypto remittance company can be a smart Bitcoin business to consider if you live in an area where remittance payments are a key component of the local economy.

Global Remittance Payments via World Bank

 

Mining Operations

BTC mining is still profitable thanks to the development of high-powered mining rigs and mining pools. Mining pools combine the processing power of every user on the network. The added leveraged hash power gives mining pools the ability to increase the effectiveness of all the miners involved. The miners split their profits earned according to their hash contributions.

Today, Application Specific Integrated Chips (ASIC) mining rigs are the best option for mining BTC. These chips are thousands of times more effective at calculating BTC’s Hash-256 algorithm than GPUs or CPUs. ASIC rigs are going to take up a considerable amount of your investment, though.

You will also need to consider your operating costs. Regions with inexpensive or renewable energy options are better suited for mining operations. You may find that you’re not making a profit if you set up a mining operation in an area with high electricity costs. There are less than four million BTC to be mined. This scarcity should help to drive the demand for BTC up, and its price should increase accordingly. The last BTC is estimated to be mined by 2140.

Bitcoin Business Opportunities

It’s exciting to see how blockchain technology is providing the world with a plethora of new business opportunities. Many people in the crypto space believe the decentralized market will continue to see growth for many years to come. By opening a Bitcoin business now, you are positioning yourself wisely in this digital economic revolution.


This article by David Hamilton was previously published on Coincentral.com

About the Author:

David Hamilton aka DavidtheWriter has published thousands of cryptocurrency related articles. Currently, he resides in the epicenter of the cryptomarket – Puerto Rico. David is a strong advocate for blockchain technologies and financial sovereignty.

 

Paying Your Bills with Bitcoin

The decentralized market continues to see massive adoption on a global scale but many new investors are still unaware of how to spend their crypto in practical ways such as paying bills directly. New investors are flocking to the marketplace in record numbers and this investment capital is getting reinvested back into the BTC services marketplace.

As more people learn about the benefits of blockchain technology, the decentralized economy continues to expand. While most of the media’s attention is focused on how Bitcoin can assist you in acquiring your Lambo, many people are still unaware of the multitude of ways in which they can spend their Bitcoin earnings on day-to-day items. There is no shortage of services that allow you to pay your bills directly using Bitcoin and new platforms with even more innovative concepts continue to emerge in the market daily.

Pay Your Bills with Bitcoin

You hear all about the HODLers of BTC but rarely do you get to hear stories about the people that use their cryptocurrencies to do more mundane tasks such as pay their cell phone or electric bills. While these activities lack the luster of a cherry red Lamborghini Diablo, they are, in fact, much more important to mass scale Bitcoin adoption.

Bitcoin users from around the world are finding unique and innovative ways to avoid using fiat currencies in their lives and if you are bit more practical than a bright red Lambo, or just looking to use your hard earned Satoshis to get by, there are many ways in which you can spend your BTC on your living expenses. Below are just a few of the most popular ways that you can pay your bills directly from your BTC wallet and avoid paying any crypto-to-fiat transition fees.

Bitcoin Debit Cards – Pay Your Bills with BTC

Bitcoin Debit cards are considered by many as the missing link between the cryptomarket and the traditional market space. Crypto Debit cards can function in a couple of different ways but most utilize a protocol that converts your crypto into fiat currency the moment you swipe your card. You will pay a small processing fee for the transaction but with most cards, it is far less than what Coinbase would charge you.

Bitcoin Debit Card Featuring NFC Card

Since the merchant is only receiving fiat currency, you can use your crypto debit card at any retailers that accept credit cards such as Visa. This makes crypto debit cards perfectly suited for paying your bills. You can even sign your card up for automatic bill payments just like a traditional credit or debit card.

Click here to view a comprehensive list of the crypto debit cards currently available on the market.

Welto.io

The Welto.io platform provides users the ability to pay their bills directly from their Bitcoin wallet. The platform boasts immediate transaction times and even allows you to use a combination of crypto and fiat currency to pay your bills. There is 2% flat transaction fee for their services; which is far less than fiat-based payment systems and despite the $300 payment limit, Welto is expanding quickly.

The Welto platform is currently working on a large-scale update that would allow for the use of more cryptocurrencies in the future. Currently, users can pay bills with BTC, LTC, ETH, ZEN, ETC, and CRW. There is also a mobile app available for download on the Android operating system.

If that isn’t easy enough for you, you can download the Amazon Alexa app and pay your bills with voice commands. The best part is that the Welto platform is not alone. Click here to see a list the most popular crypto bill pay platforms currently available.

Living Room of Satoshi

The Living Room of Satoshi platform is an Australian-based cryptocurrency bill payment system that is already seeing substantial use in the country. This 2014 startup is currently processing around $1 million a week in small bills for BTC users in Australia. The system is integrated with the BPAY bill system to provide users access to the most popular service providers in the area.

This platform is excellent in its abilities and overall informative feel. You can see the actual payment statistics of the platform’s users by category for the last 14 days. A quick review of this data is truly eye-opening. Credit cards bills are the #1 bill paid on the platform followed by the internet, phone, electricity, and gas. The platform even allows you to pay your rent with crypto.

This is truly a remarkable tool for the BTC users of Australia and hopefully, they will expand their operation in the future.

Pay Your Bills Directly

You should always ask your service providers if they accept BTC directly as a form of payment. You may be surprised to find out that they already do or are planning to integrate it in the near future. Corporations and governments from around the world are getting hip to the benefits of accepting cryptocurrencies and you may not be too far off from the day that you can even pay your taxes in crypto.

It was reported in February of this year that Arizona was considering becoming the first state to accept cryptocurrency payments for property taxes. This would be a huge step forward for the decentralized economy and more states will surely follow Arizona’s example in the coming months.

Arizona State Capitol Building

Is it Possible to Pay Your Bills by Using a Bitcoin Wallet?

Yes, it is very easy to pay your bills with your Bitcoin wallet and there are thousands of people already doing this every day. These are the individuals that are taking the decentralized economy forward by forcing retailers to take a serious look into cryptocurrencies such as BTC and as you probably already know, just a peek at BTC can be enough to take you down the blockchain rabbit hole.

What do you guys think? Are you ready to abandon fiat currency altogether? Let us know on Twitter and be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on all the latest and greatest crypto news hitting the marketplace.

This article by David Hamilton was previously published on Coincentral.com

About the Author:

David Hamilton aka DavidtheWriter has published thousands of cryptocurrency related articles. Currently, he resides in the epicenter of the cryptomarket – Puerto Rico. David is a strong advocate for blockchain technologies and financial sovereignty.

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Bitcoin became a buzzword overnight. A cyber-enigma with an enthusiastic following, it pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. You can apparently use it to buy anything from coffee to cars, yet few people seem to truly understand what it is. This raises the question: Why should anyone care about bitcoin?

In The Age of Cryptocurrency, Wall Street journalists Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey deliver the definitive answer to this question. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could reinvent traditional financial and social structures while bringing the world's billions of "unbanked" individuals into a new global economy. Cryptocurrency holds the promise of a financial system without a middleman, one owned by the people who use it and one safeguarded from the devastation of a 2008-type crash.

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Incorporating currencies, payment methods, and protocols that computers use to talk to each other, digital currencies are poised to grow in use and importance. The Handbook of Digital Currency gives readers a way to learn about subjects outside their specialties and provides authoritative background and tools for those whose primary source of information is journal articles. Taking a cross-country perspective, its comprehensive view of the field includes history, technicality, IT, finance, economics, legal, tax and regulatory environment. For those who come from different backgrounds with different questions in mind, The Handbook of Digital Currency is an essential starting point.Discusses all major strategies and tactics associated with digital currencies, their uses, and their regulationsPresents future scenarios for the growth of digital currenciesWritten for regulators, crime prevention units, tax authorities, entrepreneurs, micro-financiers, micro-payment businesses, cryptography experts, software developers, venture capitalists, hedge fund managers, hardware manufacturers, credit card providers, money changers, remittance service providers, exchanges, and academics

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