Cash can now be exchanged for Bitcoin at Walmart, the retail store finds a way to join the cryptocurrency’s craze. The simple and recognizable form of an ATM might bring in many new users, such as the curious and insecure ones who felt like buying Bitcoin was too intimidating.
Coinme, the crypto wallet firm, currently focuses on making the exchange of cash for Bitcoin accessible for everyone in the U.S., offering over 20,000 locations and operating the largest licensed cash exchange of cryptocurrency in the country.
Coinstar paired up with Coinme on a pilot program that enabled 200 kiosks at Walmarts all over the United States.
The pilot program also works as an incentive to open up a Coinme account. The ATMs (or BTMs) work by releasing a voucher that can be redeemed in Coinme’s wallet. Each purchase at the Coinstar kiosks charges fees of 4% for buying Bitcoin plus 7% for cash exchange.
A CoinDesk editor tried one of the Walmart BTMs and confirmed they are active and the service works. They personally verified it to leave out the possibility of a new hoax, as it had happened just last month with a fake press release that said Walmart incorporated Litecoin as a means of payment.
A source told Coindesk that Walmart is being cautious due to the previous event and avoided any press releases this time around. For this reason, the opportunity to buy Bitcoin at the retail store made no noise while getting set up.
Bitcoin Easy-To-Use Options Aim For Diversification
When speaking of crypto financial services, being trendy is not enough to motivate the lower-income class to be a part of it. Many have expressed their insecurities about buying Bitcoin. Some fears and myths, and some a due to the world that is still adapting to its rapidly growing technology.
As we seem to be fully heading to times digital economy, it is important to offer the opportunity to exchange cash for Bitcoin using something as commonly known as an ATM. It can be seen as an amicable transition.
These kiosks are expanding all over the United States. Coinstar aims to have over 10,000 available for buying Bitcoin by the end of 2021. Their website shows a kiosk finder for searching nearby Coinstar Bitcoin machines.
The services have been launched at other retailers, but none of them brings in 240 million customers each week as Walmart does. This widens the potential for the crypto industry to reach new lower-income users and expand the market’s horizons.
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As Bitcoin pushes the world to evolve and transforms the ideas on investments and transactions, it is important that it reaches a diversified public. A Bitcoin ATM at a huge retail store brings cryptocurrencies closer to everyone’s day-to-day life.
The Coinstar website states their reason for enabling Coinme to use bitcoin:
Coinstar recognizes that a diverse population has varying payment preferences. As bitcoin usage grows worldwide, our customers will seek greater access to buying and using this new form of currency. Coinstar’s flexible platform and cash acceptor on select kiosks enable Coinme to reach a wide customer base to conveniently provide bitcoin at the local level
The project is still a pilot, but the cryptocurrency ATM industry could see a potential big growth if the 200 Coinme kiosks show themselves to be successful. It is a step closer to achieving mainstream usage.
The fast evolution that Bitcoin provides unleashes a lot of potentials, but also uncertainty about what is yet to come. As its growth and value become undeniable, industries follow the demand and opt to provide more easy-to-use options.