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10/22/2021

Walmart launches in-store bitcoin pilot with Coinstar

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
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Shoppers can now purchase bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks in 200 Walmart stores.

Shoppers can buy the world’s leading cryptocurency at select Walmart U.S. stores. The retail giant launched a pilot program that allows customers to purchase bitcon through Coinstar kiosks in 200 Walmart stores, reported CoinDesk, which tested the offering. The ability to buy the bitcoin is enabled by Coinme, the first licensed bitcoin ATM company in the United States.

According to the report, customers who want to purchase bitcoin  insert dollar bills into the Coinstar kiosk and receive a paper voucher. In order to redeem the voucher for bitcoin, customers must set up a Coinme account and pass a “know-your-customer” background check to redeem the voucher. The bitcoin does not come cheap: The machine charges a 4% fee for the bitcoin option, plus another 7% cash exchange fee, according to Coinstar's website.

“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 in an email. “There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot.”

Coinstar, which started adding bitcoin-buying services with Coinme in early 2019, added 300 bitcoin-enabled machines at Winn-Dixie, Fresco y Más, Harveys and other grocery stores across Florida, CoinDesk said.

In September, Walmart was subject to a cryptocurrency hoax when a fake press release was sent out over GlobeNewswire announcing a partnership between the chain and litecoin. GlobeNewswire said that a fraudulent user account was used to issue the release, according to CNBC   

[Read More: Walmart job posting suggests major bitcoin push]