Robocoin Faces Boycott of Bitcoin Users Over Privacy Issues
The appeal of crypto currencies like that of Bitcoin lies largely in the fact that It gives consumers the ability to bypass the traditional banking system which is fraught with transaction fees and is anything but private. The philosophy behind Bitcoin is largely based on giving the consumer the choice of an alternative way of banking which does not involve any third party interference.
Companies like Robocoin who have created what are essentially Bitcoin ATM’s are aiming to demystify and simplify the entire Bitcoin process which to many is still largely unknown and seemingly complicated. The idea that Bitcoin can be simply bought and sold via a simple ATM going a long way to reach consumers that otherwise would never be exposed to the mysterious virtual currency world.
Given the sensitive nature of Bitcoin users, the last thing you want to do is to enforce regulations that are anything similar to those utilized on traditional currencies. Bitcoin ATM Robocoin has stirred up the hornet’s nest by announcing on their blog post that all of their ATM operators will have to enable Know Your Customer/ Anti- Money Laundering (KYC/AML) software and hardware as Robocoin look to be fully compliant with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen).
Stating legal reasons Robocoin said that they had already pulled 9 out of their over 60 company kiosks they have while offering them the chance to upgrade. Users of Robocoin ATM’s were quick to react and voiced their anger on Reddit while going as far as to threaten to boycott Robocoin. There were also calls for Robocoin to implement a free open-source platform called Rakia.
Robocoin CEO Jordan Kelly defended their decision by pointing out that in order for Bitcoin to continue growing he has to work with regulators even at the cost of angering the Bitcoin community of users. He summed up Robocoin’s predicament by saying,” We love anonymity, but we also love the idea of getting millions of people Bitcoin, and we can’t do that if machines are getting seized.”
The battle to get Bitcoin into the mainstream as a viable and acceptable banking option is ongoing with a juggling act required by all interested parties should crypto-currencies want to become mainstream.