Bitcoin ATM’s – The Good & Bad

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In this interview, you will hear Cory Capaldi, the owner of The Coin Bros talking about his journey into crypto, his push into the crypto ATM space and what some of the hurdles and opportunities are in this emerging corner of the cryptocurrency market.

In the first part of the interview, Cory talks about his journey from being a paramedic with a lot of time on his hands, and interest in finance, to practically becoming a Bitcoin ATM Godfather. He draws a parallel between the situation in 2016 when there were 900 ATMs and now when there are almost 5000, and emphasizes as an integral part of the exponential growth of this cryptocurrency segment, calling it “Google Maps for Bitcoin ATMs”.

He also mentions that nowadays Bitcoin ATM’s are located in all kinds of shops, liquor stores, gas stations, and most people are open to the idea of having an Bitcoin ATM in their store. As opposed to the beginning when people were skeptic and it was a real nightmare offering Crypto ATMs to store owners.

Talking about stores they also brought up California’s law about recreational marijuana, and how it helped to change the public opinion about marijuana and the people who use it. Of course, they compared it to Cryptocurrency, saying that they share the same mystification when it comes to people involved in it, and noted that more favorable laws in California will really help with the integration of these societies. Cory also noticed that cryptocurrency has more potential to be accepted since there are people that do not approve marijuana but will advocate for cryptocurrencies.

The main topic of this conversation was security. Again they draw a comparison, this time between crypto ATM’s and normal ATM’s. The main difference between the two is insurance. If you get scammed, and someone takes money from your bank account, the bank insurance will reimburse you. On the other hand, with Bitcoin ATM’s, there is no insurance, while scammers are getting more and more ingenious and creative. They pose as social security or IRS agents and demand your cryptocurrency citing various made up reasons. According to Cory, the first thing you need to know about crypto security is that you should never, at any circumstances, send your bitcoins to any other wallet but your own.

Further on, he emphasizes the importance of education, saying: “if we want to maintain a healthy space we have to educate people who aren’t in it”. This is highly important, according to him, since there are people who want to come into the crypto space but they have a bad taste in their mouths because they are hearing about the scams in the media, but are not informed enough and do not have the complete picture.

Obviously, the people that are getting scammed tend to be elderly. They are not up to speed with the current tech trends, so they are still using the newspaper, TV and even radio as their main source of information. As we know these streams do not cover most of the things that are really going on in the crypto world. If you look at these mainstream media right now, the only time they are mentioning cryptocurrency or Bitcoin is when it’s going nuts or if there is some really innovative new technology. So, the point is that the lack of information is making them vulnerable.

In the end, Cory was answering the question about the ways he uses to improve the security on his machines. Firstly, he mentioned that he is fully compliant, and has a money service registered with FinCEN where there is an AML policy. Secondly, he states that there is a “terms and conditions” page on their machines (manufactured by General Bytes) that the user needs to agree to before he makes a transaction. This page lists every single scenario in which people could possibly get scammed. He is also working on educating the store owners to recognize the potential situation in which a customer is getting scammed. Often, if someone is getting scammed he will be on the phone listening for the instructions, creating an opportunity for the store owner to figure out what is happening and intervene if needed. Finally, he confirmed that there are also warning signs present at every ATM location. According to Cory, the next step would be a campaign to raise awareness and hopefully prevent at least one person from getting scammed.

To summarize, education is the most important step at this point in time, in order to make cryptocurrency a safe space so that people can have a positive experience and the whole community can grow.

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