Walmart begins hosting Bitcoin ATMs at Coinstar kiosks

Pilot scheme involves 200 Coinstar kiosks in selected Walmart stores across the US

People shopping at a Walmart store in south San Francisco bay area                                 
Customers will be subject to an 11% surcharge for purchasing bitcoin through Coinstar kiosks – Photo:Shutterstock
                                

US multinational retail corporation Walmart has announced that some of its customers at certain stores will be able to purchase bitcoin using ATM-like machines installed by Coinstar.

Coinstar, a US company operating coin-cashing machines that enables customers to exchange coins for notes, eGift cards or donations to charity, has partnered with digital currency exchange Coinme to enable customers to purchase bitcoin at some of its kiosks.

There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the US that now provide customers with access to bitcoin.

In September, Walmart was the victim of a crypto hoax when a fake press release stated the company had partnered with litecoin. The fake news caused the cryptocurrency to increase in price.

The crypto pilot programme

Molly Blakeman, senior communication director at Walmart, told Coindesk, “Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot that allows its customers to use cash to purchase bitcoin. There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot.”

After a customer inserts US dollars into the machine, the customer will receive a paper voucher. Then the customer will have to set up a Coinme account and pass a know-your-customer (KYC) check before the voucher can be redeemed. The machine will charge customers a 4% fee for the bitcoin option, as well as a 7% cash exchange fee according to the Coinstar website.

Bitcoin Depot surpasses 5,000 ATMs in North America

At the end of September, the world’s largest crypto ATM network, Bitcoin Depot, reached a new milestone when it announced that it’s now operating more than 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the US and Canada.

The company said it has tripled its kiosk count over the past six months, providing access to cryptocurrency transactions for communities across North America, especially the underbanked – those people and organisations who don’t have access to mainstream financial services and products.

“We're thrilled to achieve a new and tremendous milestone with over 5,000 crypto ATMs on the heels of Bitcoin Depot’s fifth anniversary and a long-term partnership with Circle K,” said Brandon Mintz, president & CEO at Bitcoin Depot.

“The demand from consumers and retail industry giants continues to grow. This gives us a greater opportunity to expose Bitcoin Depot ATMs to individuals seeking convenient access to alternative financial services and cryptocurrency,” he added.

The rising popularity of cryptocurrency also saw Bitcoin Depot launch a partnership with leading convenience and fuel retailer, Circle K in July.

Further reading: Bitcoin ATM operator becomes Chicago Blackhawks sponsor

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