Traveler from Europe and staying in Las Vegas for a week.
For whatever reason, my credit card stopped working yesterday, even though my online banking web-UI shows that everything is covered. Of couse, no email from them, no call, nothing. Fraud protection gone awry? Who knows...
I had little cash left and no intention of wasting money on an expensive call to my bank for a small chance to get this fixed in time.
Luckily, I still have some BTC in my mobile wallet, and went to this Robocoin ATM
. This one was pretty useless. The UI was clunky and hard to use. After "successful" registration that involved hitting tiny UI elements on a bad touchscreen, scanning my ID and getting a picture of my face, my "withdrawal limit" was apparently $0.
Fortunately, there was competition in walking distance! The BitAccess ATM
only wanted my phone number and I could get cash out. The UI was a little bit glitchy, since it doesn't really tell you that the Tx was received. The machine shows a QR code with a 5min countdown that keeps running after you've sent your BTC. Don't panic, it's waiting for miner confirmation or something. It would be nice if the machine acknowledged that it has seen the tx on network.
I could even use the receipt for a 2-for-1 deal at the Ketchup Burger!
(throwaway for privacy and such.)
I want to put a warning out there for people looking to use a Coin Cloud ATM and tell you about my experience with them.
I wanted to try out a BTC ATM and since I had some spare money lying around I decided why not. So on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017 I purchased around $44 of BTC at a Coin Cloud ATM. I should have received 0.00242721 BTC, as shown on the receipt I posted below. However, I only ended up getting around $13 or 0.00077951 BTC after all was said and done. That's right, only $13 worth of BTC on a $44 purchase. I know what you're thinking because I thought it too, “oh this must be an error, $13 that doesn't seem right”. So I did what any reasonable person would do and contacted support for coin cloud. I've posted the conversation below. But essentially their response to this situation was that this is expected because of high miner fees. That's right, I got charged a $31(0.0016477 BTC) fee for this transaction. $31 fee!
What a fucking robbery, because even now as I am writing this, if I go a site like CoinBase and purchase $44 worth of BTC, I still get ~$40 or 0.0022 BTC worth of BTC after fees have been accounted for. I realize that a high fee for a transaction on a bitcoin ATM is to be expected, but this is insane. Never have I’ve seen any fee so high and ridiculous on anything, unbelievable.
So here is my advice, if you happen to be near a Coin Cloud ATM, don't. Don't purchase from a Coin Cloud ATM, hell if you need to use cash go and buy a visa gift card and purchase BTC online or any other atm than CoinCloud so that you don’t get robbed. Proof:
Great, you’ve earned yourself some money - but you were paid in Bitcoin. You know how to use it, but what if you need cash?? This is a great question, and likely one to be asked millions more times with the gradual adoption and use of Bitcoin as a fiat. Many Bitcoiners would love to have a place where they can quickly go and hawk some BTC. Well I had the same need and have embarked on a journey to do exactly that, and along the way, help others avoid some of the obvious pitfalls that come along with the effort. The plan is to periodically visit some of these ATM’s here in my local area and report as to whether they are really still in operation and if they are meant to dispense cash, are they? Are they in a good neighborhood or is it better to visit during the daylight hours, etc.?
The first location checked out is Marina Smoke Shop in Huntington Beach, CA (949-431-5122) - I called to verify it’s “2-way” status. The shopkeeper didn’t quite understand me and the store is only a few minutes drive from my house; So I took a trip to see the machine for myself. There are two things I could have learned before I arrived.. One, RIF (Reading Is Fundamental) - If I had only read into it further, I would have learned that at the bottom of the reviews on CoinATM Radar ([link]1
) That there is a note lending to the type of coin and direction; then further down to simplify it, whether you can buy or sell or both from this specific ATM (This HB ATM is one-way -> Fiat to BTC). Two, even if you call the location, the shop keeper may have no idea what the ATM in their store does, since it’s likely the store owner isn’t the ATM owner. The lesson, do more research than you think is necessary before burning your gas. If you only need to buy BTC, this machine will work for you as of 05/01/2016. The machine type at this location is a “Genesis Coin”
Alas, my first search wasn’t so successful, I did learn the above and continue happily on my way through trial and investigative error. Additional investigation gave way to new excitement as I learned that Jacks Liquor near LAX (in the city of Inglewood) is also described as a two-way machine; it even appears that way locating the machine through the above link. Great!! With this information in hand, I decide to check it out without the need to make a phone call and head out on my way - an approximate 45 minute drive.
This machine is a bit off the Freeway and in a neighborhood I would call, a little “Sketchy”. It may be a “2-way” machine as advertised, but the one at this location turns out to have the exact same scenario as the other (set to “sell only”), so was a little disturbed when I realized it. Then, when asked why the machine wasn’t set for bi-directional, the little oriental man behind the counter who assumably didn’t speak a lick of English, raised his hands and shrugged. I left visibly perturbed and kicked myself for not making the simple phone call that could have helped me avoid this trip. So, for you my readers...This machine type is a “General Bytes” and only operates to “Sell”
Although the link shows this ATM as “Two-way”, it is not. It would not be wise to jump off a plane thinking you can quickly trade your BTC for cash here because it’s close to LAX - This machine at Jack’s is set to only Sell BTC to customers - not trade it back. Best to continue on to the Westfield Mall (Described below).
Had I continued up the Freeway another ten minutes or so (as suggested above), I would have made it to the Westfield-Culver City Mall where there is a Lamassu type 2-way machine (6000 Sepulveda Blvd CulverCity, CA - Located on the first floor near JC Penney) accessible during Mall hours. The notes for this machine indicate that it was recently updated in April of 2016 to 2 way status - That’s a good sign, considering it’s now only May 2016. I should have made a stop here before returning home from Jack’s, but then, I wouldn’t have started this article. Live and learn; instead, I’m heading there next in my continuing mission.
This was an interesting experience. I found the machine no problem, and using it wasn’t a technical feat; very easy. Click sell, click how much, then the machine displays the address to send it to; Also, if you have your “pairing code” on your iPhone or android, then you can make your transaction by showing it to the little window at the lower left hand area of the machine. Be sure to include the amount of a fee, as the blockchain will set your transaction to the side and not process it for a long time. This happened to me, which sent me on an additional quest: Make contact with the owneoperator of the machine for assistance. Both the Manufacturer of the machine and Owner were prompt, knowledgeable, friendly, sensitive to my situation and helpful in resolving the issue. In fact, The Owner (Kais ([email protected]
)) happens to live in my area, and due to the distance between me and CulverCity, offered to help me personally for future transactions. He also advised that there will be a new 2-way ATM HeroCoin will be installing in Corona, CA soon - This is a main route into and out of Orange County, out towards San Bernardino and out towards Barstow. This was a great outcome that could have gone completely the other way. Be careful with how much you send to yourself and be sure to include a fee, you may just end up waiting thousands of minutes until the miner-nodes decide it’s worth it to pick up. Thanks Herocoin.co - Great customer service!
...and So, there I am.... next are some I haven’t yet visited, but plan to in my effort to flip out some Satoshis - and will update this string accordingly.
Further up the freeway, there is a 2-way machine at Meltdown Comics in West Hollywood -> 7522 Sunset Blvd - Los Angeles CA 90046 11am-9pm daily (Store Hours). This is a “BitAccess” machine where you send yourself some BTC by going to the website and depositing there (“cash.bitaccess.co”). The machine will hold it for you and has it waiting when you arrive to any BitAccess machine; it’s called “Remote Initiation Process” - The benefit described for this is no validation time required once you get there. It’s ready and waiting for you. It seems like a pretty good location considering the general BTC audience; “er, Comic Book Store?? ...Works on multiple levels“. I’ve not yet visited this store.
I also checked South on another machine (it turns out, there are two in the same complex area run by the same administrator) nearer to San Diego. I found an article claiming “California’s First 2-Way Bitcoin ATM” which was written in January 2016 and appeared in CryptoCoin News ([link]2
... atm-opens/), considering the article is now several months old and the distance from me to Encinitas is long, I shot an email out to the machines admin contact (CoinOutlet.io). I was again impressed with how the admin responded right away, confirmed that the machine (located in, “Surf Brothers Teriyaki” 274 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA) is currently working, and finally, asked to work with me to help avoid a wasted trip to an empty machine. I like that, prompt, professional, and helpful. The second machine is close by at Camino Village Plaza 256 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, CA. Although there are a couple of closer machines to check out, these two are going to stay on my list to visit. These machines are CoinOutlet type machines - I’ve been able to locate instructions on use for any of these machines on YouTube.com.
Thank you for reading my post, I enjoyed writing it for you; this is not the end but just the beginning. I plan to continue visiting and reviewing more. If this article helped you to save Time, Gas, Confusion, Avoid costly mistakes or any other additional Effort... or if it helped you make a decision, pointed you toward the next awesome idea, or inspired you to other Greatness;
Please kindly consider donating to my bitcoin address:
Bitcoin donations of any amount will make me happy and keep me inspired to continue this journey. I also hope it will help educate and promote locations and the use of ATM’s to monetize BTC and get it to the Masses of people and into the mainstream Marketplace. If you are the owner or operator of a Bitcoin ATM located in Southern California and would like a visit and subsequent review of your atm location, Please contact me through this post or PM here at the website, Thank you very much.
''' My journey to exchange BTC for Fiat via ATM Go1dfish undelete link unreddit undelete link
1: *oin*tmradar*c*m/bi**oin_atm* 2: ww*.crypto*o**snews.*om/**n-*ie
Unknown links are censored to prevent spreading illicit content.
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