BitStarz News Exclusive Interview with Cyclebit CEO
- A distinct lack of crypto POS machines around the globe is hampering efforts to push forward mass adoption.
- “We estimate about 40% to 50% of the POS systems out there are compatible with our functionality” said Daniel Bessmert – Cyclebit CEO – in an exclusive interview with BitStarz News.
- Companies like Cyclebit are making mass adoption look like a plausible reality that we could see happening in the next year or so.
Bitcoin was designed to be a currency – used to purchase everyday goods and services from merchants around the globe. However, it’s a little tough for merchants to accept crypto payments in store as it requires a high level of technical knowledge – something most merchants don’t have. This is where firms like Cyclebit step in, they break down these barriers to mass adoption and give merchants the ability to accept crypto just as simply as accepting a standard debit card or credit card payments.
Alex Meears recently spoke with Daniel Bessmert – Cyclebit CEO – to find out more about how Cyclebit is revolutionizing the way consumers can pay with crypto via its very own POS device.
AM: Could you tell our readers a little bit about Cyclebit?
DB: Our legacy business is a basic point of sale service, registers, and cash POS systems. We have about 200,000 of them distributed around the world, but they are mainly concentrated in Eastern Europe and Asia. Cyclebit was actually a spinoff from that business when one of our customers asked us to produce a module where he could accept crypto payments. So, we did that one-off job, but then we noticed higher demand for this type of service, so we increased our capacity to both accept and sell bitcoins through the terminals – it was mainly focused on bitcoin to that point. From there we started diversifying and saying let’s see how many cryptocurrencies there is a demand for.
After that we made Cyclebit a standalone business with a completely different IQ stock and team that is solely focusing on rolling this out. This industry is still in a very early stage, meaning there are a handful of companies that are doing what we’re doing around the world, and we have come here because of our legacy business in the POS system industry.
We have a natural acceptance network in the fact we already have customers that have been with us for a number of years. To add to this, we have done more than a billion dollars in card transactions, and part of that share is crypto payments. Crypto payments are not going to be the majority of the volume yet, but it’s definitely going to grow into becoming 5 or even 10 percent in the next few years – or at least that’s what we’re aiming to achieve.
AM: How do you see Cyclebit solving problems for merchants?
DB: Companies like Cyclebit are really important, otherwise you come into this barter situation like we had around three thousand years ago. You would go to a merchant and you would say “look I want to buy your wool, but all I have is sugar. I want to buy a bag of wool for three kilos of sugar,” but not all retailers would like that barter situation. We allow merchants to say, okay give me Litecoin or Bitcoin without worrying about the hassle involved. More often than not, they just don’t know the cryptocurrency and they want they don’t want the hassle of learning about it.
On top of this, their accounting systems don’t want the hassle of reporting the fact that they’ve sold goods for cryptocurrency, because the majority of the nations in the world today don’t recognize this form of payment for goods and services we speak, so we simplify that.
AM: Will you be adding more cryptos any time soon?
DB: If a merchant wants to accept a specific crypto, we can integrate it for them specifically. However, there is only a high level of volume in top five cryptocurrencies. When you consider the fact there are more than 2,000 cryptos out there, we aren’t going to add all of these as it would be a waste of time. So, we have focused on the big five out of the box, but we can integrate more if a merchant requests it specifically.
AM: Are you facing any hurdles in getting your POS system out there?
DB: One of the main hurdles is the fact that the POS industry is very fragmented – meaning that we can sell it to our customers, but we have a limited customer base. So, we’re reaching out to other potential customers that want to integrate Cyclebit into their environment, and we offer them the ability to do that in two different ways. Our customers can have a standalone machine that accepts crypto, or we can work on integrating Cyclebit’s functionality into their existing POS software.
If we are integrating Cyclebit’s functionality into their system, it heavily depends on the type of I.T. they are using. We estimate about 40% to 50% of the POS systems out there are compatible with our functionality. On top of this, a little more than the majority are actually able to pick up API from a third-party provider – like ourselves – and just generate a QR code.
Customers can then open up their crypto wallet, scan the QR code and we will convert that crypto into the fiat equivalent. We get a live market price by going to three different crypto exchanges to get the average price. This means the merchant is actually settling in fiat – their local currency – so they don’t need the hassle of keeping lots of Bitcoin or Litecoin for example.
AM: Which crypto has been the most popular form of payment so far?
DB: At the moment, Bitcoin has the biggest volume on our system and that’s one that bears the crown so to speak. If we see there is a bigger demand for another coin we can certainly enable that, but at the moment there are some systematic issues in transacting with bitcoins. For example, fraud can occur where the blockchain is not able to identify in an immediate kind of way that the account actually has Bitcoin available in it. This is one of the key reasons why we go to retailers that don’t have a big resale value on the goods.
We wouldn’t go to an Apple store and allow people to start buying iPads using crypto. This is because they could essentially transact with an empty wallet, leaving us to take the risk of being that much more out of pocket. The transaction is processed knowing that there should be Bitcoin available on this wallet, but after two hours we could be notified that this was a closed down wallet or a frozen wallet. By then, the buyer already has the iPad which has a resale value of at least 70% of the of the product value.
This is why we go to retailers where there is no resale value – for example coffee shops, massage parlors, or hospitality. this helps us to limit the chances of fraud happening and if there is a fraudulent attempt it’s restricted.
AM: Have you seen a decline in the number of payments following the December flash crash?
DB: Things have remained relatively the same. I think the type of customers we have are the type people that just have these Bitcoin in their wallets, and for them they’re not looking to use them as investments. They just want to showcase themselves and also to the people around them. Also, we’re motivating new customers to try this out when they’re in the store.
Actually, we’re also selling Bitcoin. So as the market is going down, there is higher interest to get in on the low prices. So, it’s not only a machine to pay with bitcoin we’re also offering to purchase bitcoins. People will come in and buy and a stored value on their wallets or they’re loading up on bitcoin to buy their next coffee or whatever. It works similarly to buying an Apple Store gift card – you hand over cash to the cashier and they generate a QR code which you then scan and the money is credited into your crypto wallet, it’s as simple as that.
Cyclebit is Certainly One to Watch!
Next time you’re buying a coffee or a low-cost item, it’s worth asking the cashier if they accept crypto thanks to Cyclebit. You never know, adoption might be closer to home than you ever thought possible. Stay tuned to BitStarz News for the latest crypto news and interviews with industry leading experts.