Walmart will allow Bitcoin to be purchased at store kiosks
Buyers can buy Bitcoin at kiosks at Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, as part of a pilot program that started earlier this month in 200 U.S. stores.
Walmart has struck a deal with Coinstar, which operates kiosks that accept US coins in exchange for dollar bills and gift cards, to start offering Bitcoin, Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said. , to CoinDesk by email.
The Walmart pilot is part of Coinstar’s partnership with crypto wallet and payment company Coinme, which allows customers to buy Bitcoin from ATMs (cash machines) known as BTM.
Counter said he tested Walmart’s Bitcoin service after a fake press release in September claimed Walmart would accept Litecoin (LTC) as a payment method in Walmart stores. The hoax press release temporarily pushed the price of Litecoin up to 20%, along with other cryptocurrencies, before prices came back down to earth.
âA source with knowledge of the pilot said the Litecoin debacle prevented Bentonville, Ark.-Based Walmart from issuing a press release,â Ian Allison said for Coindesk.
âBitcoin ATMs have been around for quite some time, including in many supermarkets,â said Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda, a regulated crypto brokerage firm, reported Bloomberg. “Walmart is expanding access to Bitcoin to more people, however, and giving it additional legitimacy among skeptics, if they deploy it beyond an initial pilot.”
Customers who want to buy Bitcoin from Walmart insert paper bills into the machine and receive a paper voucher, Coindesk reported. Then they need to create a Coinme account and pass a customer background check (KYC) before the voucher can be used. The machine has a limit of $ 2,500 per day and charges a 7% exchange fee and a 4% fee for the Bitcoin option, according to the Coinstar website.
âIt’s an expensive way to buy Bitcoin, but it lowers the barriers to entry for first-time crypto buyers,â Doctor said.
Founded in 2014, Coinme is the first licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the United States. Coinstar and Coinme both plan to offer bitcoin in more than 8,000 kiosks Across the country.
The bitcoin kiosk initiative is not led by Walmart, Blakeman said, but added that Walmart is exploring how to enter the digital asset space. The company announced a job offer in August for a senior director to lead its digital currency strategy.
If Walmart decides to accept crypto as a payment method, it will join other corporate giants, including Tesla and PayPal.
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