'A really stupid idea': Entrepreneur regrets decision to open Malta's first bitcoin ATM
The first and only bitcoin ATM on the Island of Malta has not been a resounding success.
Shortly after launching the machine in the city of Sliema, the owner, Romanian entrepreneur Gabriel Cretu Torica began to receive complaints about the machine, according to a report by Love In Malta.
The General Bytes-made machine was not only turning down transactions by users whose bitcoin purchase amount exceeded the amount in their e-wallet. It was turning down transactions and keeping the user's e-wallet funds.
Torica posted his mobile number on the Czech-made machine and has had to manually track down the problem transactions and send the money to the user's bitcoin wallet, sometimes at a loss, if the original purchase occurred before a rise in the cryptocurrency's value.
"If someone gets a transaction error and comes to me the next day when the value of bitcoin would have shot up, then I'd lose money," Torica told the publication. "It's a very bad business and many things still need to be fixed."
Additionally, Torica has had to contend with a server outage that left him unable to check on some transactions customers called about. That particular issue set him back 550 euros ($654.30) in a scam involving a fake transaction.
"Setting up the ATM was a really stupid idea," he told Love In Malta.