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Walmart – the largest retailer in the United States – has launched a pilot with Coinstar to allow Bitcoin purchases. The program includes 200 Coinstar kiosks used to exchange U.S. coins for paper bills, gift cards, and BTC.
Buy Bitcoin in Walmart
As reported by Bloomberg on Thursday, the pilot is part of a larger initiative between Coinstar and Coinme. The latter is the world’s largest cash to crypto exchange with over twenty thousand locations. Per their partnership, Coinstar is utilizing Coinme to provide customers with Bitcoin through over 8000 of its kiosks. 200 of these kiosks happen to be in Walmart stores.
The purchasing process is simple. First, users insert paper bills into one of the kiosk machines. Then, they receive a voucher. They may then log in to their Coinstar account to redeem the said voucher for Bitcoin.
However, the machines charge a 4% fee for their Bitcoin option, alongside a 7% cash exchange fee. Though the process is expensive, it provides an extra convenient way for people to buy Bitcoin. It also lowers the barrier to entry for newcomers to the space.
Sam Doctor – Chief Strategy Officer at BitOoda – thinks Bitcoin is already gaining significant ground in retail stores.
“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.”
Slow But Steady Crypto Acceptance
Though this is only indirect involvement that Walmart is taking with the crypto space, it still is a small step forward toward adoption. Overall, a cautious, slow, but steady transition by institutions into digital assets is taking place. For instance, billionaire investor Paul Tudor Jones recently announced that a single-digit percentage of his portfolio is in Bitcoin. Furthermore, a US Pension Fund just added Bitcoin and Ethereum to its portfolio.
Contrarily, dramatic moves are unlikely to take place among most major companies – including Walmart. Last month, GlobeNewswire unveiled a fake press release claiming that the retailer was accepting Litecoin for purchases. The likelihood of such a scenario is extraordinarily low, especially given Litecoin’s declining relevance in the crypto space.
However, that doesn’t exclude cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin from being means of trade and payment. Adam Aron, CEO of AMC theatres, recently announced that AMC would accept Dogecoin to purchase the company’s gift cards.