US-based Robocoin, one of the biggest names in the world of Bitcoin ATMs, has rolled out their new digital wallet. This is the second major Bitcoin wallet announcement this week, as Circle opened their doors to a worldwide audience on Monday.
Robocoin wants Bitcoin users to become their own bank at some point, which is something a lot of Bitcoin enthusiasts are looking forward to. Given the current Bitcoin infrastructure, there is still a long way to go. Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelley hits the nail on the head :
“We were at the mercy of Bitcoin exchanges. If one of them went down, so did the user experience. But, launching a series of Bitcoin ATMs around the world has taught the company to trust no one.”
Jordan Kelley – Robocoin CEO
Users are promised instant access to both Bitcoin and cash thanks to Robocoin’s international network which spans 45 kiosks. Instant access to Bitcoin is a tricky part, as a transaction requires an average time of 10 minutes to complete.
The way Robocoin addresses this, is by having each Bitcoin kiosk or ATM connected to an “operator wallet”, which takes care of Bitcoin/fiat exchanges both ways. Reserves for both Bitcoin and cash are built by Robocoin’s international network of users.
According to a Robocoin representative, it works like this : “The Robocoin Connector (API) lets Operators use their preferred exchange to automatically replenish after customer buys or unload after customer sells.”
Over the years, security has become a topic of ever growing concern when it comes to BItcoin. Robocoin has been working hard on providing the best security possible without compromising the user experience.
“90 percent of the world’s Bitcoin are kept in offline storage, though the wallet itself is secured with multi-signature architecture. Accessing an account online requires two-factor authentication and accessing an account at a kiosk requires three-factor authentication: account number, PIN, and palm scan.”
Jordan Kelley – Robocoin CEO
There is one minor downside to using Robocoin at this point in time, as there is no mobile application available (yet). After confirming this with other sources, there are applications in development for both Android and iOS platforms. For the time being, users can access their Robocoin Bitcoin wallets through the browser on their mobile devices.
When asked by VentureBeat whether or not the Bitcoin ecosystem will eventually come together with traditional banking networks, Mr. Kelley had this to say : “I think that we’re going to see a future where the two will merge. We want to be in a good position when that day comes.”
The dream is to have people rely on Bitcoin (and Robocoin as well) when it comes to storing their money. Robocoin is definitely aiming for underdeveloped countries where most people don’t even have access to a bank account.
The question that I ask myself then is : “If these people are not familiar with a traditional banking system won’t it be even harder to win them over for adopting Bitcoin?”. Education about Bitcoin is still something we should all focus more on, and once that has been taken care of, the rest will follow.
Another point I want to bring up is whether or not these people will feel the need to use Bitcoin over their local currencies. As they do not have a bank account, there are (as far as I know) no hidden fees or charges on cash transactions. I’m not sure what Bitcoin can bring to the table to provide an incentive in that regard, but someone will come up with a solution I hope.
Website : http://robocoin.com