Walmart to Offer Bitcoin Purchases at 200 Stores
Market Musings

Walmart to Offer Bitcoin Purchases at 200 Stores

The major retailer has revealed that shoppers at some of its U.S. outlets will be able to purchase Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks.

Walmart to Offer Bitcoin Purchases at 200 Stores

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Walmart has made a pretty big crypto announcement — and don’t worry… it isn’t a hoax. We’ve checked.

The major retailer has revealed that shoppers at some of its U.S. outlets will be able to purchase Bitcoin at Coinstar kiosks.

Coinstar is best known for allowing people to convert large amount of physical fiat coins into cash — or exchange it for credit at a supermarket in order to benefit from a lower commission.

This is believed to be the first step in Coinstar’s plan to become a bigger player when it comes to Bitcoin ATMs. It has entered into a partnership with Coinme to offer this service through its machines — and plans to roll out crypto services to 8,000 kiosks in the future. 

Consumers need to complete three steps to benefit from this service. First, they need to create a Coinme account to ensure they have a Bitcoin wallet. They can then purchase a BTC voucher from a participating kiosk, and redeem it via Coinme. 

It’s fair to say that Walmart is dipping its toe into the water here — the latest figures suggest it has 4,743 stores in the U.S. alone — and in the long run, not all of Coinstar’s BTC kiosks will be based in its stores.

But as BitOoda’s chief strategy officer and head of research Sam Doctor told Bloomberg:

“Bitcoin ATMs have been around for a while, including in many supermarkets. Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot.”

And although it’ll be good news for newcomers, the fees associated with this service are severe to say the least. Not only does this command a 7% cash exchange fee, but the Bitcoin transaction also comes with a further 4% charge.

Still No Litecoin…

Last month, the crypto market was plunged into chaos after a bogus press release suggested that Walmart was going to accept Litecoin as a payment method. 

The news was carried by major news outlets including Reuters — and was even retweeted by the Litecoin Foundation itself.

LTC ended up surging on the news but crashed back down to Earth when Walmart issued a denial of the story.