Through a collaboration with Coinstar and Coinme, Walmart now has over 200 bitcoin kiosks in its U.S. stores.
Walmart has introduced bitcoin ATMs across several of its U.S. retail stores. The kiosks, a venture between bitcoin ATM manufacturer Coinstar and bitcoin cash exchange platform Coinme, are the result of a test being conducted in collaboration with Walmart.
Coinstar and Coinme are working on implementing this initiative on a much larger scale, with plans to offer bitcoin at over 8,000 kiosks. The service will require customers to create a Coinme account and pass a subsequent background check. Customers at Walmart can insert cash bills into the machine, for which they will get vouchers holding bitcoin.
Bitcoin kiosks are one of the more expensive ways to obtain bitcoin, as they charge comparatively high fees. These kiosks will charge a 4% fee for bitcoin and a 7% fee for cash exchanges.
Walmart has discussed integrating cryptocurrencies into its business model in the past, though it does not yet offer direct payments. The company has posted job openings for crypto-related positions, including a cryptocurrency product lead. It has filed an application for a blockchain-based drone far back in 2019, though there has been no update on that matter since then.
The news follows a fake litecoin announcement that purported that Walmart would support payments in the cryptocurrency, and which was the subject of media headlines. The retail chain is investigating the fake press release, which saw the price of Litecoin pump and then dump as it was dismissed.
Bitcoin breaking into the mainstream
The arrival of bitcoin into one of the world’s most established retail chains, albeit only in the U.S., is a major step forward for the asset. For many years, market enthusiasts have spoken of bitcoin’s advances in terms of adoption. However, it is only in the past two years that it has made significant headway with financial institutions, professional investors, and enterprises.
Besides the obvious influx of institutional investor capital, established companies and financial institutions are also working blockchain systems and cryptocurrencies into their strategy. What is most telling about these developments is that many of these firms had once dismissed cryptocurrencies as a fad or fraud.
Retail investor crypto adoption is also peaking, with Nigeria topping adoption rates, followed by Malaysia and Australia. AMC and El Salvador are among the most notable large-scale adoption developments that have occurred.