Kaloa Robinson and Chay Shioi are entrepreneurs who struggled to launch their business in the face of steep regulation. Joe Kent interviewed them as a part of The Grassroot Institute with Keli’i Akina, a radio show on KAOI 1110AM Maui.
Bitcoin, an entirely digital form of currency, has been growing in popularity, with over 300 ATMs throughout the United States. Kaloa and Chay, proponents of the currency, tried to make it easier to access Bitcoin by opening several ATMs in Hawaii.
“Chay and I formed a company called Veloxis,” explained Kaloa, “Our project was to bring the first 100% compliant and viable Bitcoin ATMs to the state.”
Unfortunately, because Hawaii’s laws haven’t been updated in 10 years, Bitcoin is categorized as money transmission.
“The money transmitting industry is heavily regulated,” said Kaloa. “[It] meant that we were basically trying to form a bank, just to have a vending machine for Bitcoin.”
Because it was the only route available, Kaloa and Chay pursued their money transmission license.
“We explained our process, we gave them the business plan, and we met all the technical requirements, but, it’s under the director’s jurisdiction to unilaterally disqualify us from being money transmitters,” Kaloa said.
Listen to the full interview here: