Retail giant Walmart Inc WMT will let its customers buy Bitcoin BTC/USD at some of its U.S. stores.
What Happened: Walmart has partnered with coin-to-cash kiosk operator Coinstar to install 200 Bitcoin ATMs in stores, according to a report from Bloomberg.
“Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot that allows its customers to use cash to purchase bitcoin,” Walmart communications director Molly Blakeman reportedly told CoinDesk via email. “There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot."
In order to buy Bitcoin using one of these kiosks, users will need to insert a banknote and will then receive a paper voucher with a redemption code. After this, customers will need to set up a Coinme account and complete a KYC check.
Why It Matters: “Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people… and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot,” Sam Doctor, chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda, told Bloomberg.
However, some market participants are of the view the “notoriously high” Bitcoin ATM transaction fees coupled with the network’s current price would only “rip-off” those who opted to buy Bitcoin through this method.
The Bitcoin ATMs have an 11% surcharge, comprised of a 4% fee for buying with Bitcoin and an additional 7% cash exchange fee.
Comparatively, crypto exchange Coinbase Global Inc COIN charges users a fee ranging from 3% to 4.5% in total to fund their exchange wallets with a credit or debit card.
What Else: The news comes after a fake press release was circulated earlier this year, stating that Walmart would accept Litecoin LTC/USD as a means of payment. Walmart responded with a “notice to disregard” the fake release and confirmed that the news was untrue.
Price Action: Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $66,930 on Wednesday. At the time of writing, the leading digital asset was trading at $63,211, falling 3.7% over 24 hours.
Walmart closed 0.55% higher on Thursday at a price of $146.81 per share.
Photo: Marques Thomas @querysprout.com on Unsplash
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