Should BTM Companies Offer Altcoins In Their ATMs?
Cointelegraph conducts a survey of experts on whether BTMs should offer altcoins to Bitcoins.
In December 2015, it was announced that Lamassu had struck a deal with Dash that meant that it will offer Dash along with Bitcoin as an alternative coin in all its BTMs.
Cointelegraph decided to conduct a survey of BTM owners to know their opinion on whether BTM companies should offer altcoins in their ATMs? If they ever tried it, what was the user response like?
Are they needed?
Eric Grill, the founder of CoinOutlet Inc. said:
“I think it’s a great idea if there is a demand for it, We have not seen any demand for it. Blockchain ATM’s are an easy on and off ramp for fiat currency to cryptocurrency”
Peter Trcek, the CEO of Bitnik said:
“Crypto ATMs are a great way for users to obtain cryptocurrency and thus a great promoter for any altcoin. Whether altcoin crypto ATMs are needed and will exist depends on the customers.”
Luca Dordolo, the owner of the first Bitcoin ATM installed in Italy, didn’t think it was a good idea either:
“Why would I need to trade with silver or copper if I could use gold? I am a Bitcoin enthusiast and firmly believe in its value. It is really the digital gold and allows people not only to store value but buy real goods and services as well.”
He further added that:
“At the moment we are making all the efforts we can afford to take Bitcoin to mainstream [sic], to make it known and appreciated by common people. I personally think that altcoins introduce a disturbing element; while they are very good for market speculators but they create confusion for normal people who have difficulty in understanding or accepting untouchable crypto-technology.”
Michael Dupree founder of Easybit said:
“We offered altcoins across our global network for a few months. We had people who accidentally purchased altcoins instead of bitcoin, and a nightmare of managing and securing multiple daemons ensued. It just became more of a headache than it was worth. I don’t think we had a total of 5 purchases of altcoins that were intentional during the entire few month period. We often would get people buying a different coin accidentally thinking it was the same as bitcoin.”
Eric Grill said that they added Litecoin and Dogecoin to their machines. While it was easy to implement on the machines, it led to customer confusion and very little transactions:
“There were a few dogecoin users who liked the idea but in total less than $100 worth of Alt coins were ever sold at one location. It did lead to some funny support calls asking if they needed to buy litecoin if they bought less than a whole bitcoin (it’s a common belief that people need to purchase a whole bitcoin).”
Peter Trcek said that they haven't experimented with altcoins on their BTMs. There is almost no demand for it. As soon as users want altcoins, cryptocurrency ATM operators will offer them.
Luca Dordolo said, “I read the news about Lamassu introducing altcoins for its BTMs. But I am a Lamassu owner and I will never modify my machine to distribute altcoins, at least not until it is very well demonstrated that the altcoin is stronger than Bitcoin”.
Most BTM owners believe that it is the name of Bitcoin that attracts more people towards crypto-technology and introducing alternative coins only confuse the users.
Michael Dupree believes that it is not a monopoly at all. He said, “With services such as ShapeShift and Cryptsy, it is easy to exchange one virtual currency for another - even immediately upon buying the Bitcoin and sending it to a wallet that auto-converts.”.
Eric Grill added, “No, I don’t think bitcoin is a monopoly and by only supporting that we are somehow blocking other cryptocurrencies. If another cryptocurrency penetrated the market the way bitcoin has, we would support that.”
As per Peter Trcek, Bitcoins are 'mainstream' enough to justify their availability through ATMs. Users that want altcoins use Cryptsy. Peter believes that Bitcoin does not have a monopoly, but since Cryptocurrency ATMs are a business, they must operate to serve the customer. If there was a demand for altcoins, they would be available.
Luca Dordolo said, on a different note, “Bitcoin already has a monopoly among cryptocurrencies. Hundred [sic] of Altcoins have come and gone and I have never seen one that could challenge the Bitcoin supremacy.”