Spanish company Chip Chap added 4,000 Polish ATMs to its bitcoin to Hal-Cash conversion service on April 10. The company expects to add service in Mexico and the United States by June and England and France at an unspecified date.
Chip Chap enables users to convert bitcoin, as well as other electronic money, such as Ukash, into fiat currency via 10,000 Spanish and now 4,000 Polish ATMs without passing through a bitcoin exchange.
The Chip Chap service operates via an Android app and requires no bank account or credit card. The user selects bitcoin as the originating currency and then selects the destination currency. After making payment in bitcoin, the user receives a reference code and PIN via SMS as well as a map to the nearest participating ATM. She then redeems that code at a participating Hal-Cash-enabled ATM for the desired fiat currency.
“Right now, the service is free to the Chip Chap end user,” said CIO and co-founder Vicent Nos in an exclusive CoinBuzz interview. “We expect to finance it with new business models in order to have the least possible economic impact on the transactions.”
The Chip Chap service can also be used to transmit fiat currency via email, Skype and social media by simply sending the valid reference code and PIN to a third party in a country with participating ATMs.
Chip Chap claims to both be exempt from anti-money laundering regulations – because it only facilitates currency conversions and does not store funds for users – and to fully comply with the regulations of each country it does business in by, among other ways, tracking buyer and seller shopping habits.
But Nos plans to seek licensing. “Our idea is to get our licenses, which we have obtained before for other companies, when we get the necessary financing,” Nos said. “At the moment, we’re open to proposals.”
Chip Chap expects to add support for a total of 18 payment methods by the end of 2015, including PayPal and Neteller.
Cody Wilson’s Darkwallet alpha 8 includes the ability for users to cash out via Chip Chap.
Nos expects the iOS version of his app to be ready the week after next. Chip Chap also expects to release an API for retail payments next week and a mobile wallet in June.
In response to a Reddit announcement of the new Polish ATM service, one user commented,“Great idea! I can’t wait to try it!”
Chip Chap, founded by Lluis Santos and Vicent Nos in November of 2014, evolved from startup incubator Entropy Factory, which aims to revolutionize society via fair trade, inexpensive access to a high quality of life and decentralization.
“We aim to promote cryptocurrency and its many benefits by adding trust for the average user who doesn’t know about bitcoin through a rapid and secure exchange mechanism, within the confines of the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing laws,” said Nos.