Walmart Stores Get 200 Bitcoin ATMs
Walmart shoppers can now purchase bitcoin at any 200 Coinstar Bitcoin ATM kiosks in various stores in the U.S. The pilot program began earlier in October. According to Bloomberg, the initial installation is part of a broader plan to install 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the US, although there are no further details on when this would happen.
Meanwhile, customers willing to buy BTC would need to insert money into the ATM, which in turn would print out a voucher with a code. In order to redeem the code7, the user must set up a Coinome account and complete a know-your-customer (KYC) requirement.
Commenting on the recent development was the chief strategy officer and head of research at cryptocurrency brokerage firm BitOoda, Sam Doctor, who said that using ATMs to buy bitcoin was expensive. According to the Coinstar website, each BTC purchase carried a 4% transaction fee, with a cash exchange fee of 7%. However, Doctor noted that purchasing BTC via ATM kiosks is an easier method for first time crypto buyers.
The BitOoda executive further spoke on the prevalence of Bitcoin ATMs in different places including supermarkets, adding that the Walmart pilot program would give more people access to BTC. In Doctor’s words:
“Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll out beyond an initial pilot.”
The Walmart news, which seems to be genuine, follows a fake announcement that made rounds back in September. A false press release stated that Walmart inked a partnership deal with Litecoin to enable payment with LTC on its platform.
As expected, the partnership news led to a spike in the price of LTC within minutes, with the announcement later being confirmed as fake. Walmart also stated that the press release was not authentic.
MoneyGram Partners Coinme to Enable Bitcoin Purchase and Withdrawal
Meanwhile, this is not the first partnership deal for Coinme, with a major US company. In May, money transfer giant MoneyGram collaborated with the crypto cash exchange platform, to enable people to purchase bitcoin with cash and also withdraw their BTC in cash at various MoneyGram retail outlets in the U.S.
A statement from Alex Holmes, Chairman and CEO of MoneyGram, said:
“This innovative partnership opens our business to an entirely new customer segment as we are the first to pioneer a crypto-to-cash model by building a bridge with Coinme to connect bitcoin to local fiat currency.”
Coinme is said to be the first ever licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the US back, which started operations in 2014. With a partnership with Coinstar, there are over 20,000 machines operated by Coinstar, which is available in more than 8,000 locations across the U.S., according to CoinATMradar.
In the United States alone, there are over 26,000 Bitcoin ATMs installed in the country, with the total number of kiosks globally at nearly 30,000.