Currently ranked fifth on the CoinATMRadar list for most Bitcoin ATM’s, Czech Republic based General Bytes has positioned itself to succeed in the Bitcoin ATM market. Some of the most stable companies, for sure, have received the least amount of press. General Bytes appears to be one of those. The company stepped up amid the Robocoin crisis to bail out some of the embattled company’s operators and has been reputable.
General Bytes (GB) develops Android and Bitcoin technologies, focusing on Android because it is the leading platform for phones and tablets. The firm strives to bring Android technology to other devices and machines due to its strengths, such as being built on Linux, being open-source, as well as benefitting from the millions of developers in its community. The first Bitcoin related technology the firm developed is the BATMOne, which the firm has discontinued to make room for its updated BATMTwo and BATMThree.
The BATMTwo is a unidirectional platform which distributes coins from a wallet or crypto-exchange, with point-of-sale integrated and a remotely manageable interface. The machine offers AML and KYC in the form of fingerprint or SMS verification. The BATMThree is the bi-directional version of GB’s Bitcoin ATM. The firm currently supports the altcoins Litecoin and Dogecoin, as well as others. Kyovsky first heard about Bitcoin from friends in the hackerspace who were mining on GFX cards. Soon he heard about the development of Bitcoin ATMs.
“I saw a Lamassu machine on the internet and given my background I decided that we can do it too for a much better price and with far better features,” Karel Kyovsky told CCN. “Before starting General Bytes I had a company developing and manufacturing internet-connected slot machines.
“Slot-machines share lots of the features with a Bitcoin ATM. It is dealing with cash, has to be secure including RNG, connected via the internet, reliable, easy-to-use, and a low cost of maintenance,” Kyovsky said. He first got into hardware and software development when he was 12 working on Atari130XE.
GB’s ATM’s software supports approximately six altcoins. “But end customers show very little interest in purchasing altcoins,” Kyovsky told me.
When Robocoin started having troubles in recent months, GB saw an opportunity to make software for Robocoin’s hardware, saving Robocoin ATM operators on the investment they made when they purchased the machines.
“We were working on our BATMThree (2-way model) at that time when Robocoin unveiled their version 2.0,” he says.
We saw how bad the version was and we spoke to ATM operators.
“What Robocoin made was a disaster. We also didn’t like the way Robocoin communicated with their ATM operators hurting the entire reputation of Bitcoin ATM manufacturers image,” Kyovsky told CCN. “It was something like the MtGox of Bitcoin ATMs.” Kyovsky saw an opportunity to fill a demand for functional ATM software useable via Robocoin’s hardware.
So we decided to port our software to their hardware. One of the reasons was also to gain market share and improve our reputation. So we made a promise to Robocoin ATM operators and delivered. We wanted to show that there are also good ATM vendors in the market. Lamassu for instance never delivered working software for Robocoin, despite it promising to do so. – The firm’s software worked.
“When operators converted to our software they were astonished that our software is far better than the original Robocoin software was.” General Bytes’ product is available the world over, in the European Union, United States and even Africa. But GB is prepared to serve whoever wants their ATM products. Kyovsky is excited about GB’s future.
“We plan to build slowly based on our reputation by delivering cost-effective and functional solutions. This year we will also present more products and devices,” he says. From the company’s headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, Kyovsky sees a young tech-population excited about Bitcoin.
“Czech people have Czech Crown fiat currency, so they are used to convert currencies often when they travel,” he says. “Bitcoin is just another currency for them. In the Czech Republic, the young IT community sees lots of potential in Bitcoin.”
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