I was intrigued with the idea of putting greenbacks into a machine and getting digital gold zapped into my hardware wallet. There were not many essays comparing Bitcoin ATMs. I did not have a lot of experience with them. I kept seeing the signs around town. There was one right by my house. I could just walk into the Circle K and check it out.
Finally, I did do that. I went there and I went through the process of giving them a cell phone number at the ATM as well as an email address. I bought some Bitcoin but I noticed the price seemed a bit high. In fact when I got home I had paid a 20% premium to buy Bitcoin from the machine. This did not seem like a great idea unless one needed to launder money.
Still I was hooked. When I was there, I would stick a few sawbucks in and buy Bitcoin or Litecoin. It turned out the ATM at the Circle K was only charging about 12%–15% premium on Litecoin. I started buying Litecoin instead. I even bought a little Ether here too but the price was not super favorable.
There were other liquor stores in the neighborhood. I stumbled onto one carrying Dogecoin as an option. As a Dogecoin fan and hodl’er, I immediately tried them out. I was happy with the exchange rate. I noticed the other coins being sold were not as heavily loaded as they were at the Circle K. The Litecoin premium was 10%, even a little less. The dogecoin premium was 8% and the Bitcoin premium was about 12%. I stayed at this ATM for a time until it told me no more purchases with so little identity provided.
I started going over to this liquor store, A & J Happy Liquor, to accumulate Dogecoin. I also monitored the premiums being charged to see if they fluctuated a lot. The premiums remained about the same as the first day I had tried their ATM. I was very pleased with this ATM company.
The different exchange rates between companies had quite a wide spread.
I started paying fairly close attention to the different exchange rates. I noticed exchange rates for different coins were also a fairly broad spread. Litecoin is consistently one of the lowest premiums across Bitcoin ATMs. For this reason, I ended up with a bit more Litecoin than I expected. This is not really a problem since Litecoin is very liquid. I could convert to another coin any time I wanted.
I happened to be in a car wash one day. I noticed another Bitcoin ATM. They were popping up everywhere it seemed. I decided to give it a spin. Over I trundled to buy Bitcoin. The premium/exchange rate seemed rather high. I wanted to buy some crypto though, so… I went forward.
I decided I would get some Litecoin as well. Without checking the premium being charged, I went ahead and bought a Litecoin from this third Bitcoin ATM. I was doubly annoyed when I got home and checked the exchange rate more closely. Even the Litecoin purchase was at a significant premium.
These were the highest premiums I had paid. What company is running this line of Bitcoin ATMs, you ask? Well that would be BitcoinAmerica. I do not recommend BitcoinAmerica as a place to purchase cryptocurrency with dollars. You will be paying a premium approaching 20% for either Bitcoin or Litecoin.
The Circle K ATM was run by RockItCoin. This company is not charging too high a premium. I think it might be wise to actually buy Litecoin from them since their premium for that coin is so much less than for Bitcoin. Their Bitcoin premium is consistently around 15%, but their Litecoin premium can be single digits some days. RockItCoin ATMs are not bad especially if you leverage Litecoin and swap it for Bitcoin elsewhere.
Who is the best I have tested so far you ask? The one who runs the ATMs where you can get Dogecoin, of course. That would be CoinFlip. I really like CoinFlip. They have a range of coins to purchase including Doggie Coin. Their premium to exchange dollars for crypto was always below 15%, and sometimes around 10%. I think volumes and demand probably drive these premiums of exchange. In any case, CoinFlip is best in my personal experience.