Bitnational’s website states that they operate over 100 cryptocurrency ATMs. Bitnational has ATMs in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. If you live east of Toronto, or in Northern Canada, your region does not have Bitnational ATMs. This Bitnational ATM is in a compact gas station east of Vancouver on Highway 7A Hastings Street in Burnaby, British Columbia. So does a Bitnational ATM stack up against the competition? Let's take a look.
Physical features of a Bitnational ATM
This Bitnational’s ATM featured a card validator, a traditional ATM keypad, a bill validator, and a cash dispenser. Bitnational’s home page provides the user with a lot of detail to start. Six language options, help information, and a button labelled “large” to increase the size of the screen are located at the bottom of the screen.
How to buy Bitcoin: navigating the home screen
The top of the screen provides the user with images of Bitnational’s web and mobile platforms. If you are new to Bitnational ATM, this may be your first introduction to the Bitnational crypto network. This can encourage the new user to explore Bitnational to manage all of their cryptocurrency exchange needs. Bitnational advertises its security, low-tracing fees, and 16+ cryptocurrencies available on the network.
There are three options on this Bitnational ATM: buy coins, withdraw, and redeem. However, the option to withdraw cash was unavailable. Unlike other cryptocurrency ATMs, the Bitnational ATM has a cash dispenser on the kiosk. The ability to turn cryptocurrency into cash might not be available now, but clearly could be available in the future on Bitnational ATMs. For the purpose of this review, we are only going to focus on how to buy Bitcoin in Canada on a Bitnational ATM.
Starting a transaction
After selecting “buy coins,” you will have to select the value range your transaction falls under. There are two options: between $1 – $995 and $1000 – $9000. On this screen, you will also find the current Bitnational ATM value of one-hundredth of a Bitcoin, expressed as 0.01, plus the ATM service fee of $5. Selecting the value range of your transaction triggers an identity verification process.
You will be asked to provide your mobile phone number. This is almost standard procedure on cryptocurrency ATMs. It’s also reminiscent of two-factor authentication, which has become the digital status quo. Enter your phone number to receive an SMS/text message with a verification code. You will receive the verification code SMS/text message rather quickly. Provide the Bitnational ATM with the verification code to proceed.
The next screen is important. Bitnational ATMs provide a lengthy Terms and Conditions of service within the transaction process. I highly recommend consulting the Terms and Conditions for any and all cryptocurrency ATMs prior to use. From my research experience, each brand of cryptocurrency ATM has different Terms and Service and Conditions that have different information within them.
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Bitnational ATM fees
It is at this point you will be reading anti-fraud warnings, reminders that this transaction is a one-way transaction, as well as transaction rates and limits. Notably, the service fee for Bitnational is not $5 as their earlier example suggests. Rather, the service fee appears to be 10% of the transaction value.
The transaction process on a Bitnational ATM
Despite advertising “16+” different cyrptocurrenies, this Bitnational ATM has only four cryptocurrency purchasing options: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash. Select the cryptocurrency of your choice to proceed with the transaction.
The next screen provides the same value of one-one-hundredth of a Bitcoin and service fee as shown earlier in the transaction. This screen provides you with three options of where to send the cryptocurrency you are purchasing. Simply scan the correct cryptocurrency QR code from your crypto wallet of choice. The QR scanner is located above the traditional atm keypad. There was no indication on the kiosk where the QR scanner was located until I selected the “Scan QR” code option. Only then was I provided any indication of where the scanner was located.
The other two options are to create a new cryptocurrency wallet and to manually input the destination address. Considering cryptocurrency ATMs are one-way transactions, I highly discourage users from manually entering QR codes. There are too many potential mistakes to be made with this option. If I’m buying cryptocurrency from an ATM, I’d recommend having your QR code ready and loaded on your phone or to create a new one when prompted. If you choose the option to create a cryptocurrency wallet through any Cryptocurrency ATM, you will be creating a cryptocurrency wallet that is designed by the ATMs cryptocurrency network.
After providing your cryptocurrency QR code, you will be prompted to verify the address that you have provided. If you have chosen to manually input the crypto destination, this is the time to double-check the wallet address for any typos or errors. Remember, cryptocurrency ATMs are a one-way transaction that is irreversible. On this screen, you have two options: confirming the account on the screen is your personal Bitcoin wallet or confirming that the destination bitcoin address on the screen is where you want to send your cryptocurrency. In this transaction, we are using a personal Bitcoin wallet.
After confirming the cryptocurrency wallet destination, you will move to the second to last screen. Again, here you will find the same transaction value for one one-hundredth of a Bitcoin, plus service fee, that has appeared twice before.
The price of Bitcoin on a Bitnational ATM
When using the Bitnational ATM, the user is never informed of the current trading value of 1 Bitcoin. Doing some simple math from the information that Bitnational’s ATM does provide, 1 Bitcoin was priced at $47,000 on this ATM. When this transaction was initiated, Bitcoin was actually trading at $36,900 per coin on the crypto market. The last time Bitcoin was trading at the same value as this Bitnational ATM was 13 days prior to this transaction. That's quite a lag.
Completing your transaction
To complete the transaction, simply input the cash into the bill acceptor. You will be provided a running tally of the cash inserted and the Bitcoin you are purchasing. When finished, simply end the transaction and take a picture of the final screen as the record of your transaction.
Bitnational ATM: Our Review
Bitnational ATMs are easy to use and provide enough assistance to help new users complete a transaction. To truly maximize being a Bitnational user, it seems that you need to be entrenched within the Bitnational ecosystem. Fortunately, Bitnational’s ATM does a great job of driving the user to increasingly use their network. As for the negatives, Bitnational’s ATMs have limited cryptocurrency trading options compared to Bitnational’s crypto network. Bitnational’s service fees will change depending on the value of the transaction. Furthermore, the trading value of Bitcoin was woefully out-of-date. Our rating for Bitnational’s ATM: 3/5
|Fees: $5 or 10% per transaction||3/5|
|Cryptocurrencies available for purchase:||3/5|
|User experience: Easy to use. Promotes further integration in the ATMs' cryptomarket. Limited Cryptocurrency options. Service fees and cryptocurrency trading rates could be prohibitive.||3/5|
|ATMs Locations: Over 100 ATMs in five provinces.||3/5|