Chainblock: ‚Bitcoin ATMs are the only way to buy crypto for cash‘
The Cryptonomist interviewed the leader of Bitcoin ATMs in Italy, Chainblock, in the person of CEO and co-founder Federico Pecoraro, to talk with him about the development of the sector in 2020 and what we can expect from next year.
Can you give us some numbers on the crypto most spent by Italians?
Italians like to buy mainly Bitcoin. Altcoins like Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash are bought to a small extent. Those who approach the world of virtual currencies for the first time One Bitcoin a Day review are mainly attracted by Bitcoin’s more than ten-year history and characteristics. Let’s say that in our experience, bitcoin’s dominance is largely confirmed by the preferences of Italian users.
Why do you think crypto ATMs are becoming more and more successful?
In my opinion the ATM meets the need for simplicity, security and immediacy, which are the basic requirements for the upcoming mass adoption of virtual currencies. Let’s not forget that today, except for face-to-face exchanges, the ATM is the only way to buy cryptocurrencies with cash. We are digitising the currency!
So in your opinion Bitcoin is a method of payment?
On the one hand, Bitcoin can be identified as a store of value, the gold of tomorrow, a storage asset. On the other hand, it is the first real global currency which, thanks to its technology, enables very low transaction costs.
In my opinion, it cannot yet be considered a real method of payment, as the market does not yet allow it and therefore does not officially recognise it …. the baker’s shop next door does not allow me to buy bread with crypto… but then again, we must remember that, until yesterday, I was not allowed to do so even with credit cards!
What could be improved in the crypto world to achieve greater adoption?
Paradoxically, and in fact contrary to the very culture of blockchain, one of the main problems is to get the concept of trust across: just as users trust banks today, tomorrow they will have to learn to trust crypto companies. The financial world is changing fast and this will increasingly lead to the obligation to ‚be digital‘ also in the use of money. The crypto world should make itself more visible and less extremist, to make it more accessible to everyone and not be a ‚world for the few‘.
Why did you decide to be based in Italy, given that the regulations on crypto are unclear?
From the outset we were aware that having our registered office in Italy could have exposed us to greater risks: financial, regulatory and competitive risks, which naturally result from an ecosystem that is still immature, where unclear regulations, perhaps timid and certainly still in the process of being defined, do not allow a crypto company to fully express the potential that blockchain technology could ensure to its users.
However, this choice was made precisely to support our desire to legitimise ourselves in the Italian market and in the eyes of the institutions. We are aware that it is an uphill road, but we work daily to be recognised by the „system“ and we do not intend to shy away from confrontation.
Why did you decide to add Bitcoin Cash to your ATM? Have you received a positive response to this introduction?
The introduction of Bitcoin Cash was intended to expand the choice of cryptos available on our services. But also the possibility to buy DAI, which is perhaps less newsworthy, should not be underestimated, because it is an option that, in fact, „digitalises“ the fiat currency of our users.