Note: For Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash please see Part II
Did you just purchase bitcoin 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 30 minutes for your transaction to appear on the Bitcoin network.
I have my receipt and waited at least 30 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. Bitcoin confirmation times can vary widely depending upon the fee paid for the transaction and the congestion level of the network. Many destinations will require a confirmation before they credit your account or fulfill your order. You may contact us for help estimating how long a transaction will take to confirm, but keep in mind that there is little anyone can do to speed up an unconfirmed transaction. Transactions from an Athena ATM should confirm relatively quickly.
- If the transaction appears in the block explorer but you don't see it in your wallet, then this means you have technically received your purchase, but your wallet is having a problem recognizing it. This usually just means that your wallet is having trouble connecting to the internet. Close your wallet app and restart it. Sometimes rebooting your phone will help. Make sure you have a tested, working internet connection before you reopen your wallet. Private (home) WiFi will provide the best connection.
- If you still can't see your transaction in your wallet after following the above steps, there is often an option in the Settings menu of your wallet to force a rescan of your addresses. Directions vary by wallet app. If you need help just contact us!
- 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 30 minutes after visiting the ATM. If it has been longer than 30 minutes for Bitcoin, please contact us so we may look into it. It may be a problem on our side.