Walmart, the world’s largest company by revenue, enables customers to buy Bitcoin at dozens of its U.S. stores. The retail giant is offering Bitcoin through 200 of its Coinstar ATMs in partnership with crypto firm Coinme. This service can be extended if Bitcoin value and consumption continue to rise.
Coinstar has more than 20,000 ATMs in the world, and 4,700 of them are located in Walmart branches as an experimental test. Since October 21, 2021, it has enabled Bitcoin Money Transfer functionality at only 200 Walmart ATMs in the US. Shoppers can purchase the cryptocurrency at Coinstar machines inside the retailer’s cavernous big box stores, according to Reuters.
“Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot that allows its customers to use cash to purchase bitcoin,” Walmart communications director Molly Blakeman told CoinDesk. “There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot.”
Coinstar is best known for allowing consumers to exchange coins for paper bills or gift cards. The ability to buy bitcoin is enabled by Coinme, a crypto wallet and payment firm that specializes in bitcoin ATMs (BTMs).
According to Bloomberg, Walmart’s pilot program is part of a wider effort by Coinstar to release 8,000 kiosks around the country that customers can use to buy BTC.
To use the machines, customers would insert bills and receive a voucher. The buyers would then have to sign up for a Coinme wallet and pass a background check to redeem the voucher for Bitcoin. The machines charge a 4% fee for BTC purchases, along with a 7% cash exchange fee, according to Coinstar.
The development comes on the heels of Walmart announcing that it was looking for a cryptocurrency product lead to spearhead the company’s digital currency strategy in August.
However, Walmart was subject to a hoax a month later where fake news was spread by prominent media networks saying that the company was partnering up with popular peer-to-peer payments network Litecoin (LTC).