Walmart

Walmart shoppers can now buy Bitcoin at 200 kiosks in its stores

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Walmart Shops, Inc. has initiated a trial program where customers can buy Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks in a select of its US stores for testing purposes. On Thursday, Walmart spokesperson Molly Blakeman said that the trial with Coinstar, which is known for its devices that allow customers to exchange US coins for paper notes or gift cards, began earlier this month.

There will be 200 kiosks at Walmart stores as part of the trial. Coinstar has partnered up with a cryptocurrency payment exchange named Coinme to provide Bitcoin at over 8,000 kiosks as part of a more comprehensive strategy. Walmart shops will host 200 kiosks as part of the trial. According to Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer and head of research at regulated crypto brokerage BitOoda, “Bitcoin ATMs have been available for a long, including at numerous supermarkets. Walmart is bringing Bitcoin to a broader audience lends credibility to its adoption if the company decides to go beyond a test program.

Following a high-profile hoax, a false press release claimed that Walmart will begin accepting payments in the cryptocurrency Litecoin, the retailer is now beta-testing the service. Even though Walmart’s announcement was a hoax, the company is considering whether or not cryptocurrency has a place in its business. While identifying “crypto-related investments and partnerships,” it advertised in August to develop “the digital currency strategy and product roadmap.”

Coindesk had already tested Coinstar’s service and reported on their findings. Bitcoin buyers insert paper bills into the Coinstar machine and receive a voucher for their payment in Bitcoin. Before redeeming the coupon, the user must first create a Coinme account and pass a background check. Bitcoin ATMs carry a 4 percent fee, while cash ATMs charge a 7 percent fee, according to Coindesk.

Buying Bitcoin this manner lowers the entrance barriers for first-time crypto buyers, Doctor said.