BitPay has confirmed there will be at least five bitcoin ATMs installed either at or around Tropicana Field for the upcoming Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl to be held this December.
Trucoin will debut a custom bitcoin ATM solution and serve as the “preferred provider” of bitcoin ATMs for the event. The Georgia-based bitcoin brokerage indicated it would showcase five units manufactured by Genmega (which also supplies ATM hardware to Genesis Coin) and retooled with the company’s custom software and compliance features.
Trucoin co-founder and president Chris Brunner stressed that Trucoin still aims to focus on its bitcoin brokerage service, and that its latest offering is simply an extension of its goal albeit in a new, high-profile setting.
Brunner told CoinDesk:
“BitPay reached out to us because they were looking for a compliant bitcoin ATM solution for the event. […] As we’ve done in similar cases where we couldn’t find a solution, we’ve built it and this is the product of that.”
Trucoin’s original ATM was purchased from Genesis Coin, using a custom version of its software that Brunner said could offer fans the ability to buy bitcoin with their debit cards at the big game.
Announced in June, the Bitcoin St Petersburg Bowl will be held on 26th December in St Petersburg, Florida. The college football teams that will participate in the contest have yet to be announced.
A spokesperson for BitPay said that while it had previously advertised that bitcoin ATMs would be made available for the game, this marks the company’s first step toward delivering on this part of its event planning.
Emphasis on familiarity
Brunner went on to suggest that Trucoin’s custom bitcoin ATM software will take a different approach than others currently on the market through a streamlined user experience and the addition of debit card purchasing.
This, Brunner argued, will be key to appealing to the more novice bitcoin users at the game.
“A lot of the bitcoin ATM solutions that exist today are not things that most people would recognize as ATMs,” Brunner explained. “We leveraged our ability to pay with cards and mitigate the chargeback risk and brought that to a physical form factor.”
Brunner plans to potentially enlist the services of traditional ATM manufacturers to help Trucoin with the refinement of its product. Ultimately, he said Trucoin could create what he called the first hybrid bitcoin ATM that connects to a traditional ATM network.
“We don’t want to change people’s behavior,” he said. “What we want to do is serve the general public, and if the expectation is that you can walk up to an ATM and get cash, we feel like we should be able to offer the same thing.”
Future of ATM service unclear
Trucoin indicated that it will wait to assess the interest level in its offering following the bitcoin bowl before integrating its ATM software fully into the company’s strategy. However, it cautioned that development is still fluid at this time.
At least one bitcoin ATM unit with the software is already operational, the company said, adding that it demoed the device at BitPay’s headquarters earlier this year. BitPay suggested that other bitcoin ATMs may be added for the bowl game at a later date, stating only that “plans are still being finalized”.
Though it will act as the operators of the bitcoin ATMs for the game itself, Brunner said Trucoin is already looking for interested parties to offer the machines permanent homes.
If the response is strong and its final solution is compelling, Brunner suggested that Trucoin could press forward into an already crowded bitcoin ATM vertical.
Trucoin is currently seeking to refine its solution, suggesting it may partner with Genesis Coin for the final product or build a unique solution with other partners.
Disclaimer: CoinDesk founder Shakil Khan is an investor in BitPay.
Images via Trucoin, BitPay