Walmart has partnered with coin teller company Coinstar and crypto cash exchange CoinMe to install 200 Bitcoin ATMs in its stores across the United States
According to Bloomberg, although the pilot project only includes 200 self-service terminals, the broader launch plan will eventually install 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the country. So far, there are no more details on the timetable.
According to data from Coin ATM Radar, there are currently more than 25,000 Bitcoin ATM machines in some grocery stores and service stations in the United States, and Coinstar operates 4,400 kiosks that support Bitcoin purchases in 33 states.
Sam Doctor, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Research at BitOoda, told Bloomberg that although Bitcoin ATM is not a new development, it can already be found in many supermarkets:
“However, Walmart will expand the use of Bitcoin to more people and give it further legitimacy among skeptics if they launch Bitcoin after the initial pilot.”
Customers can use Bitcoin ATMs by inserting banknotes and receiving a paper voucher with a redemption code. To redeem the code, customers need to set up a Coinme account and complete a background check. Users cannot withdraw bitcoins from their accounts, and there is no indication that this feature will be available in the near future.
Bitcoin ATMs charge an 11% surcharge, which includes a 4% Bitcoin option fee, plus a 7% cash exchange fee.
In contrast, popular crypto trading platforms Binance and Coinbase charge 3% to 4.5% and 3.99% for debit and credit card purchases, respectively. Direct deposits from bank accounts to Binance or Coinbase wallets are free.
The news was welcomed by some people who considered it to be a sign of mainstream adoption, including the influencer Rack Davis, who said “Walmart Sales Bitcoin Now…cool! “However, other users complained about the high fees.
In response to the news on Twitter, datcyberguy said: “As we all know, BTC ATM fees are very high, and the’current’ BTC price is always higher when buying, and lower when selling.”
Reddit user Axatar commented: “This is plagiarism, but at least it is a sign of adoption-they think some people may hope that BTC is enough to pay huge fees.”
This is not the first sign of interest shown by Wal-Mart in the cryptocurrency world. In August, the retail giant announced that it was seeking Encrypted product leaders drive the company’s digital currency strategy. This job listing has been removed from Wal-Mart’s website, but the job advertisement is still LinkedIn.
Walmart China has also joined forces Use VeChain, a blockchain-based supply chain management platform, to track products.
However, people are skeptical about the Bitcoin ATM news, followed by September Fake Walmart Press Release, It announced a partnership with Litecoin (LTC). The scam briefly caused the price of altcoins to soar by more than 20%.