In the midst of the hustle and bustle of a major travel hub are two friends who met in business school, Kyle Powers and Chris Yim, pulling long hours by their Lamassu bitcoin vending machine. They’ve founded LibertyTeller, and since they’ve launched on Wednedsay, they’ve gotten a tremendous amounts of attention, both from enthusiasts and the press.
The chosen location for the kiosk is nothing short of prime. Boston’s South Station. Millions of passengers commute through this facility every year, and Powers and Yim are doing their best to use that to their advantage — making this emerging digital currency as ubiquitous as they possibly can.
For nine hours a day, the two supervise their machine, eager to assist those with interest use it. They’ve even gone so far as to print sealed paper wallets for those who come unprepared. And for those entirely unfamiliar, the two are just as excited to explain the idea and concept behind bitcoin.
As I approached them on Saturday with a frozen yogurt in-hand, they greeted me with excitement and enthusiasm before I could even tell them who I was or what I do.
They tell me they’ve had hundreds of people stop by since Wednesday (including so many on launch day that they stayed past midnight). From those keen to get hands-on and use the country’s first bitcoin vending machine to those just simply looking to get a picture (in fact, during the short time I conversed with the two, a couple of travelers approached to snap a picture of the machine).
Chris and Kyle will accompany the ATM for the foreseeable future. For now, when they leave the station, the kiosk leaves. They tell me they’re working on plans that will allow the machine to remain in place securely without their supervision (though it should be noted the main reason the duo is present is to assist people with the kiosk).
In the pipeline are orders for additional Lamassu units LibertyTeller hopes to sprinkle in the area. As one might imagine, the start-up is carefully considering locations recommended by the bitcoin community.
Despite the immense interest in the device, I’m told they haven’t even crunched the numbers with regard to how many transactions have been processed and what amounts. It’s seemingly not the two’s top priority. Getting people interested in bitcoin, on the other hand, is of utmost importance.
“We’ve got to get these places signed up,” Powers said to me, pointing in the direction of businesses around us. He’s referring to them accepting bitcoin, because what good is it if you can’t spend it?
He tells me he has some upcoming meetings with these very businesses — a mission that certainly goes far beyond getting bitcoin in the hands of consumers. But for the duo, it’s all in a day’s work.
The sheer adoration for bitcoin from these two is inspiring. They’re not just two guys in the middle of a train station with a bitcoin vending machine. They’re the embodiment of the digital currency movement as we know it.