Walmart is Running Pilot Program to Allow Users to Buy Bitcoin at 200 Coinstar Kiosks Across the US
Retail giant Walmart has installed more than 200 Bitcoin kiosks in its US stores.
The popular department store said this week that customers at some of its US stores would be able to purchase Bitcoin using ATM-like machines.
Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said the pilot program in which 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States to allow customers to buy bitcoin started earlier this month.
These machines are installed by Coinstar, and this pilot program with Walmart is part of its broader initiative. To enable this, Coinstar has partnered with digital currency exchange CoinMe to let customers buy Bitcoin at more than 8,000 kiosks.
The machines charge a 4% fee for the Bitcoin option and a 7% cash exchange fee.
“It is an expensive way to buy Bitcoin, but lowers the barriers to entry for first-time buyers of crypto,” said Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer and head of research at regulated crypto brokerage BitOoda.
While ATMs have been around for a while, with 29,852 ATMs located in 75 countries, “Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people” and “gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot,” said Doctor.
Last month, a fake press release that got picked up by mainstream media outlets announced a partnership between the world’s largest retailer and Litecoin (LTC). Unperturbed by that, Walmart continues to make an entry into the crypto world.
A couple of months back in August, the company posted a job to develop “the digital currency strategy and product roadmap” and to identify “crypto-related investment and partnerships.”