Can cryptocurrencies help if you ever lose your wallet or if it gets stolen and you are left without any money? We will go through the procedure of what you can do if you find yourself in that situation, but you have bitcoin on a secure digital wallet.
Let’s imagine a scenario where you are backpacking in Mexico, and your wallet gets stolen or lost. You are in a completely foreign environment, alone, as in without friends or travel buddies, and you don’t have any local currency or money left whatsoever. What can you do?
We are probably all familiarized with a sense of panic when we realize that our wallet is missing because all our lives are in there. Our wallets contain credit cards, debit cards, personal documents, money — you name it.
If it isn’t just misplaced and it really falls into the wrong hands, it could mean bad news. This is where borderless cryptocurrencies can really come in handy, assuming that you didn’t also lose your smartphone.
What to do if you lose your wallet?
Losing some paper cash can be negligible in comparison to identity theft and various other forms of fraud, so it is important that you first inform the appropriate authorities with all the relevant information.
Where and when you believe you lost your wallet and a description of the wallet itself. Also, try to list everything that was in it.
Report the credit/debit cards as lost or stolen, because every card issuer has a procedure that will suspend those numbers to keep your money safe.
When you do all of the above, you are still faced with a possible situation of being completely empty-handed and without any money.
Read on to find out how you can cash out your cryptocurrencies at a local Bitcoin ATM from a crypto wallet.
How to cash out your bitcoin
In this scenario, we will assume that you already have some Bitcoin on your Kriptomat account. We can even consider it as your personal crypto bank account. Keep in mind that you can also use a private crypto wallet.
The first step after informing the authorities about the unfortunate loss is to take out your smartphone and locate the nearest Bitcoin ATM.
I suggest visiting the Coin ATM Radar website which lists, you guessed it, the locations of Bitcoin ATMs in every country. Let’s say that you lost your wallet in Mexico City, which is a sort of blessing in disguise because it has the highest concentration of Bitcoin ATMs in the country.
To get to the location of the ATM, you can also use a taxi if you find a driver that accepts Bitcoin.
Using a Bitcoin ATM
This will be a somewhat generic description of how you can use the Bitcoin ATM because all of them should work pretty much the same way. Just like normal bank ATMs all work in a standardized manner everywhere around the world.
1. Choose your cryptocurrency
Approach the Bitcoin ATM. If it supports multiple cryptocurrencies, you will first have to select the one you wish to cash out. In our scenario, we will be using Bitcoin, so we pick this option.
2. Choose the transaction method
If the ATM supports buying and selling — some of them support only one or the other, but most of them support both — you will have to pick the option that says Sell Bitcoin.
3. Enter the withdrawal amount
Some ATMs will offer to choose between multiple preset options of withdrawal amounts. They will also require identity verification if you will want to cash out more than, say, the equivalent of 1000 USD (or about 20k Mexican Pesos).
For the sake of simplicity, just pick the lowest option that doesn’t require verification because it should still be more than enough to get you through a couple of days without your money and documents.
Keep in mind that you can still enter the exact amount of money that you wish to withdraw, you will just have to remain within the set limit.
4. Getting the ticket
After you enter your withdrawal amount, you will be asked whether or not you wish to receive an SMS message informing you about the transaction process. We advise you to choose this option and enter your phone number.
The ATM will then print out a ticket with a Bitcoin wallet address. It will be presented in a text form and in QR form. You will now have to send Bitcoin from your wallet address to this provided address. When they receive the Bitcoin, you will be able to make a cash withdrawal.
The QR code will be smart enough to indicate the exact amount that you need to send. If not, just enter the amount manually.
At this point, you may be wondering why the process seems more difficult than using a traditional fiat ATM. Why do you have to manually send Bitcoin?
Because the blockchain works differently than the traditional financial system, you can’t just input a card with your BTC wallet address and expect to immediately receive cash. The ATM owners have to actually receive your bitcoin, and then give you the cash based on current market price.
Sending Bitcoin to the ATM from a digital wallet
As mentioned above, you can send Bitcoin from any Bitcoin wallet. In this scenario, we will be sending Bitcoin from Kriptomat. Keep in mind that you don’t have to do this while standing at the ATM. You will usually have around 30 minutes to complete the transaction. When you do, you return to the ATM with the provided ticket and redeem your bitcoin.
Here is a step-by-step guide.
- Login to your Kriptomat account and go to the My wallets section.
- You will see a list of cryptocurrencies. Click on Bitcoin.
- Two options will show up. We will be sending Bitcoin, so we click Send.
- You will now have to enter the Bitcoin amount and the Bitcoin address. The easiest way to do this is by clicking the QR icon and scanning the QR code.
- Scan the QR code on the ticket you received from the ATM. The QR code should be smart enough to also contain the amount of bitcoin that you need to send.
- Make sure that all the information is correct and click Send Bitcoin.
- Confirm the transaction. You will now have to wait a couple of minutes for confirmation (you should receive an SMS notification when the transaction is complete.
- Return to the Bitcoin ATM and redeem the ticket by scanning it.
- Take out the cash from the ATM.
Despite the fact that cryptocurrencies are not yet used in the mainstream, they can really save your skin if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are left without any money and you need to make a fast and secure cashout. This is where Bitcoin ATMs come in very handy because they allow you to easily turn your cryptocurrencies into pretty much any local currency.
This is the beauty of borderless and decentralized cryptocurrencies that have value pretty much everywhere around the world.
Disclaimer: Our blog posts do not represent an investment advice and nothing in them should be construed as investment advice. Blogs merely provide information and education for the interested public.