While adoption of crypto is increasing among investors, helped by last week’s launch of the first Bitcoin ETF (based on futures), it seems that the broader adoption of cryptocurrencies into daily life and mom-and-pop usage could soon escalate dramatically.
Reuters reports that Walmart customers at its United States stores will soon be able to buy bitcoin at ATM-like kiosks which were installed by the company Coinstar.
Coinstar, known for its Bitcoin machines that can change physical coins for USD cash, has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange CoinMe to allow customers purchase bitcoin at its kiosks.
“Coinstar, with Coinme, has created a pilot program that allows customers to use cash to buy bitcoin,” Walmart comms director Molly Blakeman said to CoinDesk through email.
“There are 200 Coinstar kiosks inside Walmarts across the country that are a part of this pilot.”
This is all great news for people who see the network effect leading to more sustainable bitcoin pricing, but, as CoinDesk.com says, there are ‘complications’.
“After putting in bills, a paper voucher is given. The next stage is setting up a Coinme account and passing a know-your-customer check before this voucher can be redeemed.”
“The machine also charges a 4% fee for bitcoin, plus another 7% as an exchange fee, according to the Coinstar website.”
That is much more complicated than a normal bank ATM and we think it might leave a few eager adopters not jumping into the cryptocurrency.
But the cryptocurrency ATM industry is increasing at a rapid rate, partly driven by the coronavirus pandemic. Coinstar announced its plans back in 2020 to double its 3,500 Coinme BTMs during a spike in adoption. More recently, Coinstar, which began adding bitcoin services in early 2019, added another 300 bitcoin machines at Winn-Dixie, Harveys, Fresco y Más and other grocery stores in the state of Florida.
There are almost 30,000 Crypto ATMs globally…
But Walmart (with 4,700 stores), is long seen as the crown jewel to getting cryptos into the mainstream, is another step in the push of cryptocurrencies into everyday life.
Author: Blake Ambrose