Robocoin Bitcoin ATM operators now have a new attractive alternative to abiding by Robocoin’s new compliance standards. In response to Robocoin’s move to enforce AML/KYC compliance for all of its ATM operators (even non-American ones), some Bitcoin enthusiasts have banded together to port Lamassu’s open source Bitcoin ATM software to run on Robocoin’s hardware.
Currently, the Lamassu Robocoin ATMs only have buy functionality; however, both sell and optional AML/KYC features are also in the works.
New Compliance Standards a Hard Pill to Swallow
Earlier in November, Robocoin notified its ATM operators that KYC/AML hardware and software would soon be mandatory. Previously, the company had let its operators choose whether or not to enable or disable compliance features such as the dreaded palm scan. Now, Robocoin users and operators are being ported over to the Robocoin Banking system where every “ATM” becomes a “Kiosk.” Robocoin has taken this route due to its larger aspirations and recent FinCEN clarifications. Robocoin explained:
We hoped operators would always get to choose KYC vs Non-KYC, but legal requirements have emerged that do not allow the choice. It has become clear that as a registered money service business (MSB), Robocoin cannot support non-KYC machines anywhere in the market. Under our lawyers’ advice, we cannot process anonymous financial transactions. Our operators must comply with know your source and know your destination requirements.
The post also cited the recent seizure of a “non-compliant” Bitcoin ATM in Australia in relation to a drug bust as a reason for their action. In recognition of the potential negative reaction, the ATM company stated that “for operators unwilling to sacrifice anonymity in favor of compliance, we’re offering to resell their machines.”
Disgruntled Robocoin Owners Fight Back
One such owner that was particularly upset by this development was Jonathan James Harrison of SatoshiPoint, a Bitcoin ATM operator in the United Kingdom. Harrison posted to the Bitcoin subreddit to raise support for a novel new use for his seemingly useless Robocoin ATMs. He explained his story:
We were previously running software from Robocoin until 3 weeks ago when our machines were remotely disabled with only a few hours notice. Jordan Kelly CEO of Robocoin refused to turn our 4 robocoin machines back on unless we agreed to force all our customers to use their centralised proprietary web wallet. We refused and instead worked with Neal Conner from Lamassu to get their Rakia software ported across so it would work on Robocoin hardware. Robocoin have been awful from day one, but by using Lammasu’s open source software (Rakia) we will no longer have to rely on them for anything or pay them 1% transaction fees.
Lamassu’s Rakia software is open-sourced, a marked improvement over Robocoin’s closed-source software and forced webwallet according to Harrison.
Using open source software is playing the long game, short term it maybe less fully featured but everybody wins if more ATM operators decide to go the open source route.
Harrison has received a lot of support from privacy-conscious Robocoin ATM operators around the world, and he hopes that these newly open-sourced ATM hybrids start to appear around the world:
If enough Robocoin owners decide to move away from Robocoin’s software, it could be the end of them.
You can see the “new” ATMs below:
What do you think about Lamassu Open Source software being used as such? Comment below!
Images from SatoshiPoint and Shutterstock.