Did you just purchase bitcoin or litecoin from an ATM but are not seeing it in your wallet or on your web account? This is one of the most frequent reasons our customers contact Athena support. In almost all cases, however, there is not anything to worry about. Sometimes transactions take longer to arrive or to confirm, or they do arrive but are not recognized by your destination.
You can find out what is actually going on!
When you follow the steps at the ATM to buy bitcoin (see our guide to using an ATM or watch our video on our Instructions page) you'll end up tapping Finish and, in most cases, printing a receipt (see below). This completes your part of the buying process, but we're still working to complete your order in the background.
Note that it usually takes 15 minutes for your transaction to appear on the Bitcoin network.
I have my receipt and waited 15 minutes, but I still don't see my bitcoin....
The first step is to see if your bitcoin has actually arrived on the Bitcoin network and, if so, whether or not it has been confirmed. This process is pretty easy:
1. The address on your receipt should match the address you scanned or typed in at the ATM (except in the case of paper wallets). You'll need to lookup this address on a block explorer, which is simply a website for viewing the Bitcoin network.
2. Visit Blockchain.info in a browser on your mobile phone or desktop computer. You should see a search box. This is where you want to paste or type in your address.
3. Once you search for an address you should see the following screen. Pay attention to the Transactions list farther down the page. Look for a transaction that matches the bitcoin purchased amount on your receipt.
Green arrow transactions indicate that bitcoin is arriving or has arrived at this address. Red arrow transactions indicate that bitcoin is leaving or has left this address.
Note that in this example you can see that 0.00494658 BTC arrived to this address (182FX...) at 21:20 UTC or 5:20 pm EDT and that entire amount was sent out about 5 minutes later to a new address (1HmAf...). This makes this address now empty (see Final Balance higher up).
Compare this with the receipt we showed you above. You'll see that $5 worth of bitcoin was purchased amounting to 0.00494658 BTC after fees. That's exactly what the Bitcoin network shows via Blockchain.info.
Note that both of the transactions in the screenshot above have fully confirmed.
- If a transaction is still unconfirmed (not yet finalized by the network), then this warning will appear next to the green or red color block on the right side of each transaction.
- If a transaction only recently confirmed, it will show the number of confirmations to the left of the red or green color block on the right side of the screen.
- If a transaction confirmed a long time ago, you will only see the green or red amount block on the right side of each transaction (as in the image above).
- If a transaction hasn't yet broadcast / hasn't yet arrived at this address, then you will not see a transaction matching the bitcoin amount on your receipt. This is usually only the case when you lookup your address within 15 minutes after visiting the ATM.