That's right, so I figured I'd walk you through my experience, because I was a little nervous doing it for the first time. Plus, I am in Vietnam, not in US, so if there's a problem, I likely won't be able to speak with top notch customer service in my native tongue.
I was having pizza with a friend in Saigon, and noticed a Bitcoin machine right next to our table. We started talking about cryptocurrencies after talking about other investments.
I decided we could test the machine and figure that I'd try to pull out 100,000 Vietnamese Dong ($4.31 USD according to google right now). Plus, maybe it will cost me less than exchanging USD to Dong at the ATM or notoriously expensive money exchangers.
the first thing I did was push English and in the machine wanted to verify my identity. The only way to do that was to verify a Vietnamese phone number. I did not have one so fortunate my friend volunteered to use her local number. That made us both just a little anxious but at the end of the day it was not a big deal.
It gave us less than a minute to verify the phone number via code, and that was done easily. Text message was the primary form of communication with the machine.
Next, the machine said to send exactly 0.00051168 BTC to it's wallet.
Anyway, the machine then told us to leave the machine and that it would message us when the cash was ready to pick up. Good thing I only sent less than $5, since the restaurant was closing in less than an hour.
I checked the transaction and it said there was only 1 confirmation after we sat back down at the table. I checked again after several minutes and there were only 2 confirmations. I think I read somewhere that it takes 12 to 14 confirmations or something on some crypto currencies... could not remember.
I gave up, since it was getting late, and we went home. However, about 20 minutes later (and 12 minutes before the restaurant closed), I got a screenshot saying the transaction was ready.
You can see bitcoin recognized the amount as $4.84 USD when it sent it, but when i just checked online today (2 days later) 100,000 is equal to $4.31, so unfortuantely I can't say this is a cheaper way to get currency, but I think for a bigger amount, it might actually make sense.
But for me this was just an experiment since it was my first time. And it worked!
Side note: When I tried to transfer the 100,000 vietnamese dong that I had left over (ironically) at a money exchanger, they offered me only $3.33, which would cost much more than turning it back into bitcoin would have cost me.
Have you used a bitcoin machine before? How was your experience?
If you'd like to use a bitcoin machine, go head to sign up for Coinbase so you can send bitcoin to the machine anonymously.
Matt's Weekly Blog + Guest Posts From Crypto Experts