XBTeller, a Denver based digital currency services company, today announced their plans to launch a network of bitcoin kiosks at locations around Colorado. The company’s first kiosk is now open for business, hosted at The Big Tomato, a long-standing hydroponics and organic garden center in Aurora, CO.
Bitcoins a Mile High – Colorado will soon be home to a number of bitcoin ATMs and educational kiosks, aimed at giving residents an opportunity safely buy and sell the digital currency, or simply to learn more about bitcoin. “The Bitcoin protocol may be the most significant invention of our time – a grand experiment and global phenomenon based on free will and math; we are thrilled to be apart of it,” says XBTeller CEO, Noah Berger. The company is hoping to get people in the Denver area excited about bitcoin by giving some away. Hiding it, actually.
Taking a page from the HiddenCash playbook the company is celebrating their opening with a weeklong Hidden Bitcoin promotion in the Denver area. Starting Wednesday, July 30th twitter followers will receive clues pointing them to bitcoin paper wallets containing prizes ranging from 0.1 XBT up to 1 XBT (currently about $60-$600). ‘XBT’ is the proposed ISO currency code for bitcoin. Follow @XBTeller on twitter for clues and updates.
XBTeller kiosks provide a safe and convenient place to buy and sell bitcoin for dollars without long delays or costly international wire transfer fees. Customers can buy just $5 worth of bitcoin from a bitcoin ATM manufactured by Lamassu. An XBTeller attendant will assist customers looking to sell their bitcoin for cash. XBTeller charges a flat 5% commission for their nearly instant peer-to-peer service.
The company is largely focused on exposure and education. They aim to teach consumers more about digital currencies like bitcoin, and demonstrate the many ways it can be used alongside the legacy financial system. XBTeller says they will do that by building an interactive content network and by staffing their kiosks with bitcoin experts to assist newcomers, answer questions, and provide customer service.
“The majority of people haven’t heard of Bitcoin. Of those who have, many are misinformed about its purpose and potential, and only a tiny fraction actually own or use it. We aim to change that by building an experience that targets the 99 out of 100 people who don’t have a bitcoin wallet on their phone yet,” Berger says. “I think that experience starts best with a conversation and an opportunity to ask questions. It’s hard to walk up to an ATM and feel a personal connection, so we’ve added the human back into the process.” Berger sees the attended kiosk model his company is testing as a transitional step to be gradually phased out as the general public becomes more familiar with bitcoin.
The company says their kiosk attendants are ready to help throughout the transaction process. That includes clearing up common misconceptions surrounding bitcoin, and explaining security risks; even sending a micro transaction to a new user’s wallet demonstrating the ease and speed of transactions on the bitcoin network. Also, according to Berger, “the opportunity to gain direct feedback from new or potential users will be invaluable to refining our education efforts. We hope to share that insight with other companies in the bitcoin space building user-centric platforms.”
One promising use case for bitcoin is in the $15billion remittance market currently dominated by Western Union and Moneygram. But even bitcoin’s greatest supporters would admit that the network doesn’t yet have enough participants to make it practical in all situations. “Risk tolerant investors have totally different goals than a typical remittance customer or a couple interested in setting up a multi-signature ‘joint savings account.’ We want to make sure everyone understands what bitcoin allows for right now and what its current limits are. For most people, bitcoin is probably best viewed as an experiment they can participate in voluntarily, not as an investment,” Berger explains.
XBTeller was founded in January 2014 with the goal of making bitcoin more accessible to newcomers, while still providing a useful service to veteran users. By eliminating many of the risks and delays involved with using overseas exchanges, XBTeller wants to help those interested in cryptocurrency test the waters at a comfortable pace. XBTeller hopes to prepare the people of Colorado for the future of money as they see it. In service of that goal, they plan to install additional bitcoin ATMs in Denver, Boulder, Blackhawk and Breckenridge before the year’s end.