Transaction delays and the demands of extensive personal information alienate some users from buying and selling Bitcoin. СoinTelegraph spoke to Robert Genito, CEO of Genitrust (which owns Wall of Coins), about private and instant Bitcoin trading.
The now-defunct BitInstant provided a fast, private method of trading Bitcoin, until it was shut down following the arrest of its CEO, Charlie Shrem, on money-laundering charges. Now, Wall of Coins’ Robert Genito talks about how it is still possible today to exchange Bitcoins fast and without divulging private information.
CoinTelegraph: Have you found potential Bitcoin users being turned off by the delay in purchasing or offloading Bitcoins through methods like exchanges?
Robert Genito: Yes. The biggest turn off is how much information markets ask for buyers. Giving information is either inconvenient (because the buyer has to take pictures and collect things), or they don't like the privacy infraction.
CT: Does Wall of Coins have that same limitation?
RG: No, because we operate differently.
CT: How is that?
RG: Let me make it easy for you: With Wall of Coins, the only requirement we always put on our buyers is the need for an SMS-compatible phone number, and this is to SMS text you the instructions to buy your Bitcoin. Should the buyer need help or phone our call center, Wall of Coins staff knows the authorized individual to discuss the order with by looking up the buyer’s phone number. At the same time, we are absolutely compliant. We only ask for extra information when it is absolutely necessary.
Other exchanges, such as Coinbase or Circle, need a lot of information from their users to mitigate risk created by the outdated electronic systems: bank account, credit cards, identification, etc. While many power users are fine and happy with this, the general public is not. In many cases, the general public does not even meet all of the requirements--such as having a bank account or credit card--and this shuts people out of obtaining bitcoin in the first place.
CT: Before (or without knowledge of) Wall of Coins, how did most people tend to instantly and privately offload/buy Bitcoin?
RG: Well, once upon a time there was bitinstant.com. For today, no one really gets people Bitcoin "instantly." Even on Local Bitcoins the "instant release" sellers take 10-15 minutes, and that can be intimidating for buyers, or even just an annoyance for the buyer to talk with multiple sellers and hope that one will respond. People would use Bitquick, but they'd get their Bitcoin three hours later. Wall of Coins consistently delivers bitcoin to its buyers in less than 10 minutes after payment verification.
CT: Have these challenges tended to drive people to using local meetups or using BTMs?
RG: Most people who are getting Bitcoin for cash don't know about local meetups, to be frank. As for BTMs, they don't exist all over the USA. Wall of Coins supports over 100,000 locations, and there are far less than that number of BTMs deployed in the USA.Wall of Coins turns all banks, remittance centers, and any physical business location into a virtual Bitcoin ATM. From my understanding, people do love the BTMs. They don't always like the fee, though. Some have really high fees; I've heard of fees in excess of 20% in New York City.
CT: Where do you see user trends pointing in the future for instant/private transactions?
RG: As in, what do I believe bitcoin buyers/sellers want? So, I absolutely know at the edge of the industry what will bring buyers and sellers even greater convenience, but at the moment, the best representation of that is what Wall of Coins has to offer. It is an model exchange on many levels.
As far as the industry goes, our buyers/sellers who are experienced with the industry already believe that Wall of Coins is the best example to customer support, best example to a speedy process for the customer, and best overall customer satisfaction. Bitcoin itself sets the bar for instant/private transactions, and Bitcoin itself is the true influence and model of how we need to run business. As a whole, we must all become like Bitcoin, or as close to it as possible given the limitations the state puts forward.
CT: Over the years, have you seen Bitcoin users become less tolerant to giving up personal information in order to buy or sell?
RG: No, I haven't seen people become less or more tolerant. Each person feels differently on this. One thing for certain is that with so many people sharing their personal information with tons of bitcoin brokers online, scammers have easy access to a plethora of information to arm themselves with fraudulent activities. Today's slow-and-outdated businesses are using KYC/AML policies that were not made for an age where everyone has unrestricted access to information.