Walmart has launched a cryptocurrency-related pilot program. The world's largest wholesale and retail chain installs 200 Bitcoin kiosks in their stores for quick and easy crypto purchases for their customers.
On October 21, Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman said the chain of stores has begun new testing of Coinstar's crypto ATMs. Walmart has launched a pilot project in which 200 kiosks are installed in its stores where you can buy cryptocurrency. It is part of a broader Coinstar initiative that has teamed up with a cryptocurrency and cash exchange called Coinme to offer Bitcoin at over 8,000 kiosks, Bloomberg reports.
“Bitcoin ATMs have been around for a while, including in many supermarkets,” said Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda, a regulated crypto brokerage. "Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot."
The chain of stores has been working for some time on how to introduce cryptocurrencies and use their benefits for themselves and their customers in a rapidly changing world. In August, Walmart announced a job to develop “the digital currency strategy and product roadmap” while identifying “crypto-related investment and partnerships.”
The service works quite simply, but it has its own characteristics. Customers who buy Bitcoin from Coinstar ATMs insert paper bills into the machine and then receive a voucher. They must also create a Coinme account and go through a background check before the voucher can be redeemed. When using these machines, customers are charged a 4% fee for Bitcoin and a 7% fee for cash exchanges. “It is an expensive way to buy Bitcoin, but lowers the barriers to entry for first-time buyers of crypto,” Doctor said.
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