It is supposed that many of You, dear readers, know that the first Bitcoin ATM that received the name Robocoin from its developers was installed and launched at the end of October of 2013 in Vancouver, Canada. The Coin Telegraph has reported in detail about the startup of Mitchell Demeter and Jackson Warren, as well as provided articles with statistics on the success of the enterprise. The plans of the duo together with the manufacturer of the machines were great – to install the ATMs in other cities in Canada. The success of the first unit is remarkable, people have lined up to it and the processed sum was equal to 1 million fiat dollars during the first month of operation.
What could go wrong in this case? After the test period, in November of 2013, Mr. Demeter was monitoring the work of the ATM online from his office. The machine was installed on the other side of the city in a coffee shop and at the moment of connection he has received data that 15 transactions were aborted. The system did not show any particular fault and the only way to determine the reason was to check the equipment on the site.
After a short trip, Mitchell Demeter realized the problem immediately. Among the customers of the coffee shop was a man. He was siting close to the ATM and his intentions were clear from the first glimpse on a shield he carried: “Don’t Pay Transaction Fees.” He outplayed the machine easily, as he could adopt, but it struggled to make alterations on its own will without directions. The company requested a fee of 7% from clients, but the man with the sign was offering lower rates to people wishing to obtain the coins.
The law does not prohibit sitting in front of the ATM and underbidding a machine. The only opportunity left was to hire an agent, who would stay there to control the situation, give advice on the process of acquiring the currency and, maybe, scare away such creative entrepreneurs. The situation really resembles “wild-wild west” as once has been remarked by the Winklevoss twins. The hired guardian of the ATM became Cameron Gray, a musician and former healthcare technician. His tariff is 12 Canadian dollars per hour, but his shift is equal to the working hours of the venue. He is present some days per week and receives Bitcoin with no fee as a bonus.
Gray has emphasized that he values the educative aspect of his new job:
“I would do this job for free strictly for the wealth of knowledge I’ve gained from sharing info with people. I’m trying my best to stay on the cutting edge of blockchain technology as it evolves.”
The exchange process itself is provided by BitStamp, sometimes it has delays. The collected experience allows Gray consulting the users and sometimes reassuring them on the safety of the process. Kavanveer Dhiman, a student from the University of British Columbia is one of the users, who suffered from a difficulty to receive money, but was helped out by the assistant.
The ATM processes around 20 000 American dollars per day and it is a surprise that it needs supervision to keep this rate. The office of the startup company has been moved to the coffee shop and now Demeter and Warren plan the next stage of their business in the cozy atmosphere of the cafe. Along the establishment of ATM in Calgary or even Singapore, both plan to set up an exchange called Cointrader. Believe it or not, but it seems that a cup of the strong aromatic drink, I mean coffee, tones up body and mind.