Recently I was contacted by a disappointed Robocoin ATM user. His experience with the ATM was not good: He felt the fee’s were too high. I and others had voiced concerns over security and ease of use as well.
In response, Sam Glaser of Robocoin contacted me after reading my article and has answered some questions for me. He let me know his concern about the misconceptions surrounding how and why the Robocoin ATM needs the info and security measures it does. Sam addresses the fee structure as well. With Robocoin ATMs being installed in Hollywood and across the world it is nice to see a company that is addressing its user’s concerns like Robocoin is here.
Could you explain the fee structure a bit? Many users think that the fees are all set by Robocoin even though I know it is Robocoin and the ATM owner who set fees so it is not all a single structure which can make fees vary from place to place. If you could explain it a bit that can clear up some of that for users.
Robocoin Operators always set fees. Robocoin HQ gets 1% for ongoing software support, anti-money laundering compliance, maintaining exchange connectivity and integrating more exchanges, developing new features, and operating the company. It’s also important to remember that Robocoin is a currency conversion machine that exchanges bitcoin and fiat – hence the %s fees instead of $ fees. Note that conversion rates are typically between 5%-10% https://www.cardhub.com/edu/currency-exchange-study/#main-findings, whereas most Robocoin Operators set a fee of 3%-5%.
Could you explain the security that is in place for the personal data collected? Does it get shared with any 3rd parties? How is it protected on the exclusive network you use between ATM’s that have it enabled?
Info is encrypted when collected, transmitted, and stored. It never gets shared with 3rd parties. No info is ever stored on the machines. Everything is protected with industry leading best practices and accessible only through a VPN endpoint.
I know many people do not have problems using the ATM, but many people who are not tech savvy find it overwhelming and a bit invasive privacy wise. Could you explain a bit about the process and why it is necessary to have the ID verification?
Two main reasons: first, it’s about protecting peoples’ money. My favorite security feature is the palm scanner, which actually takes an infrared photograph of customers’ palm vein pattern. It’s an incredible proof of identity that fights identity fraud. The reason we collect IDs is to protect Robocoin Operators in countries that demand anti-money laundering and know your customer compliance. Before approving a new user, we run the user’s ID against a number of terrorist and financial criminal lists.
I have read that the data collected at the ATM for compliance is stored by Fujitsu is this where it is stored?
Indeed, Fujitsu handles our palm vein scans – all we see is a one-way hash, effectively confirming “match” or “no match.”
Are you going to be supporting any of the Alt coins like Litecoin, Dogecoin and Darkcoin in the future?
Once the respective markets mature we can easily introduce Alt coins with free software updates. There’s not yet an Alt coin with a high enough market cap to justify integration: https://coinmarketcap.com/
Do you have any new locations coming up that are going to be deploying the ATM’s soon?
We are live or going live this summer in countries including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K., Ireland, Czech Republic, Romania, France, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Israel, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Australia.
Do you have any new Robocoin announcements?
Robocoin 2.0 is coming this summer! There’s new pricing ($15k Robocoin Classic), new products ($20k Robocoin Recycler and $35k Robocoin Recycler Max) and a new platform that leverages the Bitcoin and Robocoin networks to deliver unprecedented value to the global banking and remittance markets.
Robocoin as I mentioned above is most recently going live in Hollywood as well as Tel-Aviv Israel. It is an exciting time in Bitcoin and crypto currencies, and I look forward to seeing Robocoin ATM’s in more and more places. More Robocoin ATMs will help adoption and use of Bitcoin while providing a secure way to buy and sell them just like current banking ATMs. Here is the official statement on the new ATMs being deployed.
Los Angeles, CA, June 17, 2014 – Within one week, Las Vegas-based Robocoin will have launched the first Bitcoin ATM in the Middle East and the first two Bitcoin ATMs in Southern California–Hollywood and Venice to be exact.
“I’ve always believed Robocoin would rub elbows with A-listers and bring peace to the Middle East. But who would have thought–both in one week?!” Robocoin’s Jordan Kelley joked, hyperbolically.
Robocoin-Tel Aviv is live in the lobby of the boutique TOWN-HOUSE TLV hotel at 32 Yavne St – it’s open 24/7 in the heart of Israel’s financial district and high-tech sector. “Bitcoin is experiencing a massive growth-trend in Israel but until now all transactions must either be carried out through a bank, with a lot of bureaucratic hurdles involved, or through trading with private individuals which can be unreliable,” remarked Robocoin Operator Nimrod Gruber, CEO of BITBOX.
Meanwhile in Los Angeles, Robocoin is joining influential retail concept Locali Conscious Convenience as it continues to shake up the quick-service marketplace in its Hollywood and Venice Beach locations. Launching Saturday June 21st, Southern California’s first two Bitcoin ATMs are expected to make waves in L.A.’s Silicon Beach and beyond.
Robocoin’s Sam Glaser noted, “We’re thrilled to help bring Bitcoin to the cultural and economic hub of L.A. alongside Locali, its most influential retail/grocer. The potential here is enormous, particularly with Robocoin 2.0’s forthcoming remittance update that will let customers send money overseas instantly to any phone #, email address, or Bitcoin address.”
The Locali Hollywood location is frequented by A-List celebrities and tastemakers while the Venice Beach location is a popular in the up-and-coming tech community dubbed Silicon Beach. Locali’s healthy, vegan and organic inspired menu options and fast-casual dining and convenience store business model has made it a hotspot among celebrities, technologists and foodies alike. The inclusion of Robocoin in its Hollywood and Venice Beach locations is a testament to Locali’s mission to deliver a future forward retail experience that resonates with the latest directions in culture and commerce.
“The partnership with Robocoin is in line with the future forward, disruptive retail experience we’ve created through our health focused quick service restaurant brand,” stated Locali CEO Melissa Rosen. “Locali is remarkable not only for our food, but also for embracing the latest and most innovative retail technologies.” Robocoin-LA is operated by ZenBox in partnership with Expresscoin.
I am excited by the roll outs and what this holds for the future. Thank you Sam for responding to my questions and also about being truly concerned about your customers experience with your ATMs. I will be keeping in touch with Sam, and I will make sure to bring you all more news about releases and deployments with Robocoin ATMs as they have a lot of great things to come.
Regarding my reader who had such a bad experience… I am touch with him as well and will see if his next try at using the Robocoin ATM goes any better. I wish to thank both of them for bringing both sides of how progress in the Bitcoin ATM market has been going. I will be sure to keep you all up to date.
Last modified: June 18, 2014 21:16 UTC