Cash2BTC Prototype: Simple Bitcoin ATM, Cheap!
Bitcoin ATMs have always seemed like a way to bring bitcoin to the masses. It seems that having an ATM makes sense considered that you are the bank when you own bitcoin. BTMs (Bitcoin Teller Machines) aren’t new technology, with the first publically accessible BTM launched by Robocoin (www.robocoin.com) in Vancouver, Canada on October 29, 2013. Now, they are the largest manufacturer of bitcoin ATM to date. Calling their bitcoin ATM a “branch”, it literally allows people with bitcoin and cash to deposit or withdraw cash/bitcoin with the latest biometric security. Since that date, several other companies have produced bitcoin ATMs including: Lamassu, Genesis1, Skyhook, BitAccess, etc. People are looking to buy bitcoin quickly and easily, while demand is growing for BTM ownership. Cash2BTC is looking to make bitcoin ATMs affordable and easy to use.
Upon a recent visit to the Bitcoin Center in NYC, I noticed a bitcoin ATM. It caught my attention because a man was depositing cash into it. I hadn’t seen a bitcoin ATM before and was curious since I’d imagined myself getting one at some point. Turns out Sean Scappaticci, the co-founder of CASH2BTC, was demonstrating his company’s latest prototype, so we began to discuss his prototype and the history of his involvement with bitcoin.
Before we were given a demonstration on the machine in action we had an opportunity to sit down briefly with Sean and ask a few questions about the machine’s benefits to the public. He explained the advantage with the ATM is it allows people to acquire bitcoins without needing a traditional bank account. This gives another opportunity to people without bank accounts to purchase bitcoins.
An Exclusive Interview with Sean Scappaticci at Bitcoin Center NYC:
Cryptocrooks: Tell me about those you work with and how you came to the decision to create a bitcoin ATM with this form factor?
Sean Scappaticci: I founded Cash2BTC.com in Denver, CO of 2014 with the goal of bringing bitcoin ATMs to the masses in a portable, simple and affordable form-factor. I noticed the potential of bitcoin in 2010, when my friend, Matthew Hollander, a computer programmer, praised the technology. Matthew is an extremely talented person, who has worked through many difficulties to help us launch such a successful prototypes and take the development further.
CC: Speaking of development difficulties, how did the prototype Cash2BTC we see in front of us come to be?
Sean: Well, we started development on a bitcoin ATM in 2013. We started programming the software to use Windows based hardware, figuring it was the most accessible. Soon after beginning that way, we realized the unnatural complexity associated with getting a simple setup with Windows. We then switched to a Linux based system, not only for compatibility and ease of use, but because it was open source, like bitcoin. Once again noticing that Linux had similar difficulties, we switched to Android. This assured us out-of-the-box compatible hardware such as a camera (for scanning QR codes), WiFi (integrated out of the box). It soon became the obvious choice, as it was accessible to any user. We wanted to ensure simplicity for everyone to setup.
CC: Sounds like it’s been quite a journey! Android is a brilliant choice due to the features most devices have out of the box, it obviously must have been difficult getting all those features in a desktop board, then making it portable. Which Android device will you ultimately recommend with your setup?
Sean: Since the Nexus 7 is readily available, Sean made the software an app store available app for $19.99. All someone needs is the Nexus 7 (or other compatible android tablets), the CASH2BTC app, a power supply, internet connection and Pyramid bill accepter. It is designed to be open-source for further modification and development by others. The pyramid bill accepter works with over 200 currencies, besting most other bitcoin ATM out there. The whole system costs as much as the app, nexus, and bill accepter, around $2000.
CC: Where else do you plan on taking your company? I suppose there has to be a plan for a two-way bitcoin ATM.
Sean: We have been working on a two-way bitcoin atm. A prototype will be revealed at the bitcoin center over the next coming weeks. As usual, it will be a prototype to begin testing in a semi-private location, before granting it trust and moving it more publicly. Development is so much easier on Android, that we are really beginning to see the potential this could make as we find new ways to lower the price.
My experience with the machine itself was intuitive, see the video below (youtube video to be attached). I had never used a Bitcoin ATM before, but I was thoroughly impressed with the user experience. As the customer, all I needed was a bitcoin wallet and some cash. First the machine asks for my bitcoin wallet QR, which the nexus camera picks up quickly. As it asked for my cash, I deposited a dollar and CASH2BTC calculates how much I receive. It calculates this with a transaction fee for quick bitcoin transfer, as well as the going rate for Bitcoin on the deposited currency. The price is an average of several exchanges, plus a percentage profit for the owner of the machine.
BTC2CASH Bitcoin ATM positives:
- Easy setup (simply connect blockchain wallet API)
- Simple design – Easy access to cash for owner
- No need for a bank account to purchase BTC unlike many other cryptocurrency exchanges
- Affordable, yet powerful and versatile
- Quick bitcoin purchase (transfer fee included, see below)
- Customizable (% markup, wallet address, transfer fee)
BTC2CASH Bitcoin ATM negatives:
- Not the most beautiful ATM (although cabinets can be built by the buyer, get CREATIVE!)
- Not the cheapest out there, http://projectskyhook.com/ $999 (Not as versatile with currency)
Cash ATMs have become more commonplace, existing everywhere from stadiums to delis, on the street to inside offices. Bitcoin is being used in more and more places, as well as becoming easier to obtain than ever. For those interested in owning a bitcoin ATM, this might be for you, as this market will only get bigger, the potential revenue source varies widely on your geographical area. But CASH2BTC promises a simple, portable, cheap bitcoin ATM.