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Bitcoin ATMs vs Online Exchanges

  • 2021-04-26

Bitcoin has consistently been in the news for a few months now, and if current investor trends are anything to go by — this popular cryptocurrency is here to stay. The value of Bitcoin has been marching steadily upwards for over six months now, and if you’re thinking of acquiring some prime digital cryptocurrency for yourself, well, you’re not alone.

Several online payment platforms, including PayPal have adopted Bitcoin, so it is safe to say that what seemed like a theoretical alternative to traditional cash is now gaining mainstream popularity. In other words — if you, like individuals all over the world, are worried about the current phase of inflation and the instability of the financial market, Bitcoin is now a viable option!

Unfortunately, one of the main obstacles in the way of those looking to invest in this futuristic currency is the means to acquire it. True, it takes a while to wrap your head around the idea of understanding Bitcoin, blockchain, and wallets, but when one considers how much of our daily financial interactions are conducted online today, Bitcoin is hardly a radical switch. Really, it doesn’t have to be all that complicated — buying and using Bitcoin is a fairly simple process that anyone can accomplish. Bitcoin ATMs and Online exchanges are two popular ways to buy cryptocurrencies. Here, we break down the pros and cons of buying Bitcoin through ATMs and Online exchanges.

The Online Way

This is pretty much like online banking, but for Bitcoin. An online crypto-exchange platform allows you to perform various types of operations, like buying, exchanging, and selling Bitcoin. Online transactions are of two kinds — centralized transactions, which essentially resembles an online banking transaction with an intermediate platform involved, and decentralized transactions, in which there are no middlemen. Centralized exchanges have control of your keys and compromise your identity in many ways. In contrast, decentralized transactions allow you to take full control of your crypto while remaining fairly anonymous, but you run the risk of trading on an unregulated platform.

Coinbase, Kraken, and Binance are some of the most popular crypto-exchanges today. Binance is currently the biggest online exchange and registers the highest daily volume of trades.

Pros of Online Exchanges

Ease of Use: If you already use online banking to conduct transactions, and if you’re digitally literate, it is easy to figure out how to buy Bitcoin online. This is the preferred way to buy Bitcoin, given that you can avail of this service anywhere on the planet, as long as you have a computer or mobile device.

Cons of Online Exchanges

Identity and Surveillance: Despite the ease of use, online exchange services require identification and you will need to link your bank accounts too. This means putting out your personal profile, which can then be accessed and tracked by anyone with the right credentials. Online exchanges store information like IP addresses and emails, too. With the growing concern over increasing surveillance, this is something for you to consider if privacy is high on your list of priorities.

Hackers: Online exchange platforms are susceptible to hackers and data breaches, and many have lost their crypto in incidents where the server was hacked. One of the biggest online exchanges, Mt.Gox, was hacked and 740,000 Bitcoins were stolen in 2010.

Time: Online Bitcoin exchanges are subject to timelines that much resemble online banking transactions–they can take days depending on verification, approval and overall transaction delays. This can be frustrating if you’re looking for instantaneous transactions.

Platform Fee: In addition to the transaction fee, online exchanges levy a fee for using their services. This fee varies widely based on the exchange, where it is located, and the tariffs imposed by local governments if any.

Bitcoin ATMs

A Bitcoin ATM is an instant crypto-exchange system. Physically, it resembles an ATM, so if you’re searching for a BitcoinATM, it’s hard to miss. A Bitcoin ATM allows you to buy and sell Bitcoin directly to or from your digital wallet.

Pros on Bitcoin ATMs

Time: Bitcoin ATMs are instant-exchange systems. You can buy and exchange crypto-currency in a few quick steps, and see your transaction reflected in your digital wallet in minutes.

Anonymity: Unlike online exchanges, Bitcoin ATMs don’t require extensive identity verifications. Information like your IP address, device information, and other personal details are not compromised. If you’re particular about your privacy, then Bitcoin ATMs are a great option for conducting financial transactions.

Security: Bitcoin ATMs are not subject to issues like data-hacks, that online exchanges are vulnerable to. Depending on where you are, you might be asked for basic phone verification and more info might be required for huge volumes. The important thing to note is that anybody who does not have the key to your digital wallet cannot perform unauthorized transactions.

Utility: Using a BitcoinATM does not require you to be digitally savvy. Online exchanges are often intimidating for someone who is not used to navigating their finance on the internet. Using a BTM is simple, and breaks down the transaction into 2 or 3 easy steps, while an online exchange requires multiple approvals.

Cons of Bitcoin ATMs

Transaction Fees: BitcoinATM operators require a fee for every transaction. The amount deducted varies, depending on the operator, so it is best to check the varying rates charged and make an informed decision.

Accessibility: As of now, Bitcoin ATMs are not as ubiquitous as traditional ATMs, so this is a factor you need to take into consideration. On the bright side, the number of these machines is increasing worldwide, day by day. It is getting easier to access a Bitcoin ATM now!


BelcoBTM is a certified Bitcoin ATM service provider that has a presence in several locations in New Jersey and Florida. We are growing rapidly and expanding to new locations in the near future.

Each BelcoBTM location features an easy-to-use interface that is secure and convenient. BelcoBTM allows you to exchange and transact with all the popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Etherium, Litecoin, Binance coin, Bitcoin cash, and Tron. You can find the nearest BelcoBTM here.


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