Walmart, the giant retail corporation, together with Coinme, a crypto ATM firm, will make it possible to purchase Bitcoin from 200 of the Coinstar kiosks.
This way Walmart shoppers will get the chance to buy Bitcoin at some of the US stores. A very convenient method, finding cryptocurrencies at Coinstar machines located inside the store.
The process is simple, a paper voucher is issued after bills are inserted into the machine. Before the voucher can be redeemed, the user must first create a Coinme account and pass a know-your-customer (KYC) check. According to the Coinstar website, the machine charges a 4% fee for the Bitcoin option, plus a 7% cash exchange fee.
To verify that the news is real, a CoinDesk editor tried the system at a Pennsylvania Walmart where they were able to successfully purchase a small amount of BTC. The reason for this verification comes from previous fake news claiming that LTC would be a payment option at Walmart.
Coinme, is a famous payment firm and crypto wallet with a focus on Bitcoin ATMs, whereas Coinstar is the go-to place to exchange coins for gift cards or paper bills.
A partnership between the two allows customers to buy Bitcoin with their cash, announced Molly Blakeman through an email. 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart all around the United States are part of the pilot project.
The Cryptocurrency ATM Industry Is Expanding
Bitcoin ATMs are on the rise, the main reason being the world turned upside down from the global pandemic. In response to an increase in usage, Coinstar announced plans in 2020 to double its fleet of 3,500 Coinme BTMs.
Just recently, 300 Bitcoin-enabled machines were added by Coinstar at some Florida grocery stores such as Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más, Harveys, among others.
However, Walmart is the biggest name and could just be the one that helps the crypto sector enter the mainstream market, even if right now 200-kiosks is not the ideal number.
Given Walmart’s shared connections with Coinme and MoneyGram, the potential for crypto-enabled financial services for lower-income users might not be far in the future, but the company did not get into any further details.
With the growing speed of the ATM industry, there might also be concerns about it, especially regarding money laundering.
ATM operators tend to overlook the problems that come with the territory, yet one cannot deny that the machines more often than not attract illegal activities, like human traffickers, scammers, money mules, and similar.
DigitalMint has rejected and refunded $5 million to fraud victims over the last 18 months, despite accounting for only 5% of total BTM transaction volume.
Big retailers should be cautious in these cases and highly aware of the vendor they are collaborating with, and what the latter will do to handle potential risks, states Seth Sattler, compliance director of DigitalMint.