Instructions for using an Athena ATM

How to Buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash at an Athena ATM

We also have a helpful video of this process at the bottom of the page!
Note: Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash purchases require a wallet compatible with those currencies.

Step One: Get a Wallet App On Your Smart Phone.


We recommend downloading the Athena Bitcoin smartphone wallet app (Bitcoin-only).


A bitcoin wallet is a software application that stores your bitcoin.  It can be a smartphone, PC, or hardware wallet. This application stores a collection of private keys that allows you to spend and transfer bitcoin across the bitcoin network to other bitcoin addresses. The Athena Bitcoin Wallet is encrypted with a password protects the private keys within the application (wallet) from malicious actors. Unlike the Bitcoin network, the Athena wallet is controlled by only you, the owner. It's important to keep your bitcoin wallet safe and to write down your username and password on paper stored in a safe place! Unfortunately, we have seen cases of customers losing their bitcoin because they couldn't remember their passwords and did not setup password recovery.

Step Two: Bring your Smart Phone To One of Our Machines

Touch the screen to begin and select "Buy Bitcoins" on the menu of the ATM. Enter the appropriate amount of bitcoins that you wish to purchase in USD from two price range options. The machine will then ask for your cell phone number. Input your phone number using the keypad.  The system will text you a six-digit code that you will type in using the keypad. 

The ATM may ask you to provide an ID card such as a State ID or a Driver's License. Follow the onscreen instructions to scan your ID. If you are not asked to provide an ID, continue with your transaction.

Step Three: Choose “Scan QR Code”

After entering your code, you will now be asked where you want your Bitcoins to be sent to, If you already have a mobile wallet, such as an Athena Bitcoin Wallet, select "Scan Wallet QR Code." After you have done that, also press the "Request" button in the Athena Bitcoin Wallet or an equivalent receive button in any other wallet app. Once your public address is displayed as a QR code (see image to the left), you may hold your phone's screen in front of the scanner’s red light near the keypad. When the ATM recognizes your address it will show it as a long string of characters starting with "1".  You may compare the first and last digits of that address with the one on your phone to verify the address is correct. An example address is shown to the left under "Waiting for Payment...."

If you have a wallet but wish to input your address manually, select "Enter Address." If you do not currently have a mobile wallet, you can generate a new paper wallet by selecting "Create New Wallet" and then later transfer the funds to your mobile wallet. See instructions below for further details. 


IF you generated a paper wallet either intentionally or accidentally....

Step 1: Download the Athena Bitcoin smartphone wallet app (see top of this page). Once you have the Athena Bitcoin Wallet, create a wallet account. Important: Write down your username and password!

Step 2: Once you've logged in and are inside the wallet, tap the blue Send button.

Step 3: This will open up your camera. Scan the private key QR code on your paper wallet (the 2nd QR code on the bottom of the slip).

Step 4: As soon as the Athena app recognizes the private key it will pop up a white box titled "Bitcoin Private Key with Public Address". Below that will be an option to Import Funds. Press Import Funds to transfer the balance  of the paper wallet into your Athena Bitcoin Wallet. A new transaction will be generated that will remain pending until confirmed. Confirmations may take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple hours in the worst case due to Bitcoin network congestion.

Step 5: Once your paper wallet transaction has confirmed you may send your bitcoin off again to a new address or keep it in your wallet until you need it. You're done!


Step Four: Insert Money, Receive Bitcoin

When the machine prompts you to insert cash, it is ready for you to begin buying bitcoin. Start inserting your money. Bitcoin ATMs don’t take debit or credit cards. Bring cash!  When you are done touch the “Finish” button on the screen and a receipt will print showing you exactly how much you have bought and the address it was sent to. Your wallet app should also tell you that you have received bitcoin.


Athena Bitcoin transactions are broadcast within 30 minutes from the time you finish at the ATM. Please wait at least that long to see your transaction appear in your wallet. There are rare occasions where this may take longer. Refreshing or rescanning your wallet may be needed. Websites, especially, may not recognize a payment even though they have likely received the bitcoin. You can verify if your transaction has been sent by checking your address on a block explorer

Your transaction is not finalized until it confirms on the Bitcoin network. Transactions from our ATMs may take 10 minutes up to a few hours to confirm. The Bitcoin network is often congested, but we pay fees high enough to confirm relatively quickly.


How to use one of our Athena Bitcoin ATM's


Further Questions?

We are here to help. If you need assistance please feel free to call or chat with us.