I really wanted to like Skyhook. But after having used one about 8 times now, I have to be honest: these things should not be left unattended in public places. The Skyhook team needs to issue a serious upgrade to the software. This is not something I feel comfortable telling people represents the future of anything.
“Trying to buy Bitcoin? How about changing the admin password?”
It is really embarrassing taking a friend to use one of these and having it fail in front of you, which has happened 4 times for me so far. I’ve done nothing out of the ordinary, other than follow the instructions displayed on the screen.
Once, bills were not being taken up by the acceptor, no purchases could be made.
Another time, the QR code scanner froze and we couldn’t proceed.
A third time, the Blockchain API was down and the Skyhook froze on the “querying for balance screen”
A fourth time, the Skyhook let me insert more cash than coins were available, which led to some bugs where not only was I not able to complete the transaction after inserting money, but accidentally revealed the prompt to Exist Kiosk Mode / Change Kiosk Password.
I can’t bring myself to drink the Kool-Aid on these machines despite being very eager to see their proliferation in the wild. My experience buying Bitcoin with the Skyhook gives me the impression that it was developed in a weekend by someone with a bad hangover and a 9-5 time constraint.
Maybe this isn’t far from the truth.
I hope that Skyhook will improve their software so operators and customers alike don’t have to be embarrassed when things go wrong, trying to explain how the money of the future makes paper money literally disappear.