S11 E2: Karliatto and Chill on Bleskomat, An Open Source Bitcoin ATM

Bleskomat is the kind of project that gives me confidence in the future of Bitcoin and also reminds me why I enjoy interviewing community members who build stuff. As an ATM, it gets rid of all patents and licensing by fully embracing an open source license. As a fiat to BTC converter, it provides excellent education to newbies who can easily turn their physical central bank coins into honest digital money on the Lightning network. And as a Bitcoin project, it’s pure and uncompromising.

Created by software developers Carlos Garcia Ortiz (Karliatto) and Charles Hill (Chill), the Bleskomat is a technical marvel which functions completely offline and interacts with Bitcoin’s Lightning network while only being connected to a power supply. When users scan QR codes, the data gets broadcast two ways: it tells the user’s wallet what to do while also interacting with the Bleskomat servers to establish important details about the fiat to BTC conversion rate, the remaining balance, and the finality of transactions. But outside of the dirty fiat, the Bleskomat doesn’t store any hard money – the bitcoins themselves exist on the Bleskomat server and can’t be extracted from the physical ATM.

Interestingly, the Bleskomat can be trained to work with any type of physical central bank coins. It’s only a matter of scanning every denomination in order to instruct the software about the kind of money it can accept and how much it’s worth. After this initial setup, the Bleskomat works seamlessly and serves the purpose of onboarding newbies to Bitcoin in a memorable and skewmorphic way which they can easily understand.

Another fascinating detail is that the Bleskomat was created in the heart of Europe, at Paralelni Polis Prague. According to co-founder Karliatto and Czech developer Mario Havel, it’s been a really fun and practical project which seeks to solve a real issue with bitcoin adoption by providing a DIY non-KYC way to onboard anyone via Lightning.

In this interview with Karliatto and Chill, we talk about technical details ranging from the nature of the wallet connection to the choice to use the low-powered ESP32 chip. Though the conversation might seem a little bit on the technical side, there’s also a lot of information about how you can build your own Bleskomat or else purchase it from the official store.

Listen to Karliatto and Chill talk about the Bleskomat on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!

Alternatively, if you don’t have an account on any of these platforms, I recommend you to use this native player. Not only that it’s the source from which all other podcast services get the content, but it also enables you to download the files for offline listening and make use of the Tor browser for uncompromising anonymity.

On the other hand, if you do use one of the big tech platforms (Apple, Spotify, YouTube/Google), then please subscribe and leave feedback. Your input doesn’t only help me grow, but also makes others more likely to discover the content during regular searches.

But if you don’t mind the big tech tracking, the episode with Bleskomat is also available on YouTube with a video recording from Fulmo’s Hackaton from Istanbul.

This Episode Is Sponsored By Vaultoro And Wasabi Wallet

Joshua from Vaultoro is a big fan of the show and I’m happy that he sees potential in my work and supports it without caring about numbers and growth statistics. So I must thank him for his generosity and invite you to check out Vaultoro – the exchange where you can trade with honest money (bitcoin, gold, and silver). 

None of this is financial advice from me, but I’m pretty sure that the shiny rock is a better store of value than any fiat currency or “stablecoin”, so maybe it would be wise to use this commodity to preserve your purchasing power during bear markets and get back into bitcoin as soon as you’re convinced that the downwards movement are over. You can also have the gold bars delivered to your house… because you know, if it’s not in your safe then it’s stored somewhere in Switzerland where you can’t touch it whenever you please. For more information, check out Vaultoro’s website.

Also, Joshua from Vaultoro is sponsoring a Lightning Network faucet – he hopes that Bitcoin’s second layer will one day become potent and popular enough to replace the smart contract and tokenization features of Ethereum. And he also supported Giacomo Zucco’s layer 3 RGB Spectrum experimentation from 2019. 

If you would like to increase your network-level and transaction privacy, you should download Wasabi Wallet on your computer. It routes your connection through the Tor network to hide your IP, it downloads block filters so you validate your own transactions locally without appealing to a trusted third party, and it also connects to your own full node to boost your financial sovereignty. Extra features include advanced hardware wallet integrations, easy UTXO management, address reuse prevention, and even a lurker wife mode.

Wasabi is best known for its link-breaking CoinJoins, which are giving a hard time even to the EuroPol. Use the wallet to increase your financial sovereignty, but don’t do any illegal stuff – use your financial sovereignty with responsibility (also read the Wasabi terms of service).

Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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