Crypto Hits the Mainstream: Shoppers Can Now Buy Bitcoin at US Supermarkets
Bitcoin is gearing up for prime time at local grocery stores across the US. In addition to Cornflakes, Coca-Cola, apples and postage stamps, customers can buy Bitcoin from coin machines.
Coinstar, which owns and operates the kiosks that sound like Vegas slot machines as they convert your jugs and jars full of pennies, nickels and dimes into a voucher redeemable for dollar bills, has partnered with Coinme, the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM operator in the US. Along with converting a sack of dimes into 50 bucks, grocery shoppers can now select the “Buy Bitcoin” button at Coinstar kiosks to purchase Bitcoin.
"This is great to see! #MainstreamAdoption – one pocket of spare change at a time!" cBc
— CryptoBitcoinChris (@CryptoBTC_Chris) January 17, 2019
The roll-out underway in California, Texas and Washington where Bitcoin is now available for purchase at select Coinstar kiosks located at major grocery chains such as Safeway, Albertsons and Vons.
Coinstar is a brand name across the US with its ubiquitous kiosks processing 43 billion coins annually. According to the company, 90% of all US residents live within five miles of a kiosk. The company operates 20,000 fully automated, self-service coin-counting kiosks in nine countries, with more than 8,900 in the US market alone installed at major outlets, including Walmart and Kroger. The partnership with Coinme allows the kiosks to be enabled for Bitcoin transactions.
Albertsons is the second-largest supermarket chain in the world and the 10th largest retailer. Albertsons owns Safeway.
Neil Bergquist, Coinme co-founder and CEO says,
“Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy.”
Customers will need to complete four basic steps in order to own Bitcoin.
- Using Coinstar’s touch screen to select “Buy Bitcoin”
- Inserting US paper money into the cash acceptor for any amount up to $2,500
- Receiving a voucher with a Bitcoin redemption code
- Visiting “www.coinme.com/redeem” to either create a Coinme account or sign in to an existing account to redeem the voucher for Bitcoin
Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity says,
“Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash.”
The Coinstar-Coinme Bitcoin buying network has the potential to expand crypto’s reach into everyday stores, shops and malls, adding to the existing 4,187 crypto ATMs across 76 countries that are currently tracked by Coin ATM Radar.