Walmart welcomes 200 Bitcoin ATMs (BTC) to its supermarkets in the United States
This Thursday, October 21, 2021, the supermarket giant Walmart announced the installation of 200 Bitcoin (BTC) vending machines in its supermarkets in the United States. According to information relayed by CoinDesk, Walmart has partnered with Coinstar. The firm is best known for its machines for exchanging physical coins for tickets or gift cards.
“Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot project that allows its customers to buy Bitcoin with cash. There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot project, ”says Molly Blakeman, director of communications at Walmart.
As part of this pilot program to boost cryptocurrency adoption, Walmart also called on the expertise of CoinMe, a firm long associated with Coinstar. It is the first Bitcoin ATM company to be licensed in the United States. Since 2014, CoinMe has been installing ATMs in the United States. The company also offers a cryptocurrency exchange and a digital wallet.
👉 Also read: The operator Athena will install 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs (BTC) in El Salvador
Walmart wants to install 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States
Walmart does not plan to stop at 200 vending machines. Ultimately, the American company wants to install a total of 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States, reports Bloomberg. This pilot program should therefore be followed by a more massive deployment of distributors. According to data provided by Coin ATM Radar, there are already over 26,000 Bitcoin ATMs in the United States.
“Bitcoin ATMs have been around for some time, including in many supermarkets. Walmart is expanding access to Bitcoin to more people, however, and giving it additional legitimacy even over skeptics, ”Sam Doctor, head of research at cryptocurrency brokerage BitOoda, told Bloomberg.
To buy Bitcoin through a Coinstar ATM, Americans are asked to insert a bill into the machine. They will then receive a piece of paper with a redemption code written on it. This code is used to recover the cryptocurrencies purchased by going to the CoinMe mobile application.
To collect currencies, you must open an account on the exchange and complete the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification. This procedure allows the platform to verify the identity of investors in order to fight against money laundering. In particular, it is necessary to provide an identity document issued by a government.
The vending machine charges high fees on every purchase. On its official website, Coinstar announces that “every purchase incurs a transaction fee of 4% and a foreign exchange fee of 7%”. For Sam Doctor, ATMs remain a good way to boost the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
“It’s an expensive way to buy Bitcoin, but it lowers the barriers to entry for first-time buyers of crypto,” says BitOoda’s chief strategy officer.
According to information from CoinDesk, Walmart did not dare to issue a press release to announce the news after the hoax last month. At the beginning of September, a false news came to affirm that Walmart now accepts Litecoin (LTC). Before being refuted by the company, the information spread on the web, giving a boost to the price of Litecoin. The individuals behind the operation had developed a fake press release.
Walmart has never flaunted its digital currency ambitions so far. Still, the group’s interest in the cryptocurrency industry is no secret. Last August, Walmart launched the hiring of a digital currency product manager. We also know that the supermarket giant has filed more than 17 patents using blockchain technology.
👉 On the same subject – The Hyperledger collaborative project welcomes 8 new members, including Walmart
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About the author: Florian Bayard