How Long Does It Take to Buy Bitcoin at a Bitcoin ATM?
You’ve probably heard horror stories about how long Bitcoin transactions take. What, six hours to buy bitcoin? What about six days?
There are lots of different reasons why some transactions could take a long time. And other reasons why it could take only a few minutes. Read on to understand why transactions take the time they do, and which option is the fastest one.
The Basic Building “Block”
OK, so let’s start off with the basics. It takes about 10 minutes to write one block to the blockchain. Each block has multiple transactions and if everything goes according to plan, your transaction should join the next block and be all done within that 10 minutes. Remember that “if.”
Platforms that require multiple confirmations are basically saying that you need to wait X number of blocks past the block that your transaction was written to … so three confirmations will take at least half an hour (3 x 10 = 30 minutes).
When Transactions Get Delayed
There’s a chance that if the network is extremely busy, your transaction might not get verified right away. Maybe other transactions have higher miner fees attached to fast-track them, or maybe yours is too big to nicely fit into that block. However it happens, if you have to wait for the next block, that’s another 10-minute delay, minimum. Kind of like if you miss the bus or subway train and have to wait for the next one to come along.
Now, let’s look at three different ways to buy bitcoin, and how long you can expect to wait for your purchase to complete.
1. Online Exchanges
If you use an online exchange, it might seem like it takes forever to fund your account. That’s because when you first sign up, you have to link your bank account information and wait for it to be verified. And any time you want to buy more bitcoin or withdraw your funds, you usually have to wait for bank wire or ACH transfer times, which are commonly three to five business days.
In addition, online exchanges often require three or six confirmations for every buy or sell transaction. That means your bitcoin purchase will take at least 30 minutes for three confirmations and an hour for six — on top of your bank transfer times. (Sometimes it can go faster if you use a debit card to make your bitcoin purchase instead of a bank transfer … just keep in mind that you’ll likely be limited to small amounts).
2. Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Exchanges
It’s hard to believe that anybody wants to do this anymore, but the way a P2P exchange works is you log on to a website or forum, look for someone who wants to sell their bitcoin, and make an appointment to meet them in person or work out some kind of online exchange of funds. Like eBay meets Craigslist, for crypto … and we can’t really give you an exact timeframe on how long you can expect to wait because there are way too many variables here. Plus, it’s kind of creepy. Just sayin’ …
3. Bitcoin ATM
We can’t speak for every brand, but Coin Cloud Bitcoin ATMs are by far the fastest way to buy bitcoin (or any of 30 altcoins). Did we mention the easiest as well? Yeah, so bonus points there.
A Coin Cloud machine will take you 10 minutes to buy bitcoin. That’s because only one confirmation is required, which is just one block on the blockchain, which is only 10 minutes, if everything goes according to plan and the network is running at normal speed.
In other words, once you put your cash in the machine and scan your wallet, you can expect to see those funds in your bitcoin account about 10 minutes later.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about how long it takes to sell your bitcoin at a Coin Cloud Bitcoin ATM (yeah, unlike most BTM companies, you can actually sell your crypto for cash at any of our machines!)
In the meantime, if you want to try buying some bitcoin, find your nearest Coin Cloud Bitcoin ATM here. If you don’t have a bitcoin wallet to store it in, the free Coin Cloud Wallet app makes a great companion to our machines.
Disclaimer: The information and views supplied by Coin Cloud 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 world’s leading digital currency machine (DCM) company. With over 1,600 locations nationwide, in 47 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 30+ virtual currency options with cash. You can find your nearest Coin Cloud DCM here.