Categories: Bitcoin Business

Honey, Please Stop At The Grocery To Pick Up Some Bread, Milk And… Bitcoin?

Click here to view original web page at www.nwpb.org
You can now buy bitcoin at select Coinstar kiosks in Washington and two other states, including at this one in Tumwater, Washington. CREDIT: TOM BANSE / NORTHWEST NEWS NETWORK

West Coasters may soon be able to pick up bread, milk and, yes, bitcoin, at their local supermarket.

On Thursday, bitcoin ATM maker Coinme and coin-counting kiosk king Coinstarannounced a partnership to allow cash purchases of the virtual currency at hundreds of Albertsons and Safeway stores. The deal spreads bitcoin-buying powered by Coinme to Coinstar’s nationwide network of machines.

Coinme Co-founder and CEO Neil Bergquist said he hopes wider availability will increase consumer acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency.

“With bitcoin, it’s this new magic internet money— it doesn’t really have a face,” Bergquist said in Seattle. “It’s been hard to establish trust with the mass market.”

“But now you can walk into your neighborhood grocery store with Coinstar — a company that’s been around for 20 years, is worth over a billion dollars — and now you can buy bitcoin on that kiosk instantly in a trusted method,” Bergquist added. “It really helps bridge that gap.”

If you were to buy bitcoin at a Coinstar kiosk, the machine would spit out a voucher printed with a redemption code. You would then enter that code on the Coinme website to deposit the virtual money into your online “wallet.” Bitcoin purchases at a Coinstar kiosk carry a 4 percent transaction fee.

The deal with well-established Coinstar enables the still-young Coinme company to vastly scale up from the roughly 70 bitcoin ATMs it operates under its own brand.

“For us as a company, this is probably the most significant partnership we have made,” Bergquist said. “You’re essentially removing 20 years of having to deploy this infrastructure. Through this partnership we’re able to hit that scale in a matter of months.”

The partnership announced on Thursday comes at a time when bitcoin is wallowing in a bear market and most headlines involving cryptocurrency are gloomy. Bitcoin shed more than 70 percent of its value over the course of last year.

Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said his company was not put off by the virtual currency’s volatility and association with black markets. The partnership would be relying on Coinme’s “Know Your Customer” protocols, which verify bitcoin buyers in order to deter criminals who like to hide behind the anonymity of cryptocurrency.

“We understand how fluctuations happen in markets and that there is opportunity for it to regain ground,” Gaherity said in an interview from Bellevue, Washington. “This would be an opportunity to try something new and different — something that’s not out there today at large scale — an opportunity to give our consumer base another product that they may have interest in.”

Gaherity said the deal to have Coinme power bitcoin sales on Coinstar kiosks took about six months to negotiate. Coinme initiated the talks, which ended up with Coinstar taking an undisclosed stake in the smaller, privately-held Seattle tech firm.

The two companies will split the transaction fees on bitcoin purchases at select Coinstar kiosks in Washington, California and Texas initially, with a broader rollout later this year. Coinstar has about 17,000 coin-counting kiosks in the U.S.

“Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll have rolled out up to 1,000 locations,” Gaherity said.

As of this week, bitcoin can be bought with cash at some 180 Coinstar kiosks, but digital currency cannot be redeemed at those kiosks. In order to sell bitcoin, Bergquist said you need to go to a dedicated bitcoin ATM that has “sell” functionality or work with a client advisor to arrange a transfer.

Gaherity said there were no plans in the near term to add other cryptocurrencies besides bitcoin to the Coinstar menu.

And there is one other thing the bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks won’t allow you to do: You won’t be able to purchase bitcoin with spare change emptied into the machine’s coin counter. Gaherity said his team evaluated market research that suggested the average bitcoin purchase would be best handled with paper money fed into a bill acceptor.

“Most of the transactions are relatively large,” Gaherity predicted. “You’d have to bring in a wheelbarrow of coin to be able to do that. Today we’re starting off with cash. It doesn’t mean down the road that wouldn’t happen.”

Copyright 2019 Northwest News Network

cinerama

Illuminati, Mason, Anonymous I'll never tell. I can tell you this, global power is shifting and those who have the new intelligence are working to acquire this new force. You matter naught except to yourself, therefore prepare for the least expected and make your place in the new world order.

Disqus Comments Loading...
Share
Published by
cinerama

Recent Posts

Terrorists are turning to Bitcoin for funding, and they’re learning fast

Representational image of Bitcoin. (File: Bloomberg) By Nathaniel Popper Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, has been designated a terrorist organization… Read More

20 mins ago

Latest Faketoshi says he conveniently ‘lost the hard drive’ containing billions in Bitcoin

Just yesterday we told you how there was a new Faketoshi in town, staking a questionable claim to the Bitcoin… Read More

20 mins ago

Study Suggests Scarcity Could Drive Bitcoin Prices to $60,000 by May 2020

Share Tweet Send Share Bitcoin price predictions have been coming thick and fast in recent months as the world’s top… Read More

20 mins ago

“Bitcoin will never hit 50k” says crypto skeptic Peter Schiff

For a man that wants nothing to do with Bitcoin , economist and Euro Pacific Capital CEO Peter Schiff never… Read More

20 mins ago

Casa Releases Node Monitor Service to Improve Bitcoin Network Health

Casa, a crypto firm that provides a private key management service and Bitcoin node machine, has unveiled a node monitor… Read More

20 mins ago

ETC/ETH Technical Analysis: Ethereum Classic breaks higher

Ethereum Classic vs Ethereum: Classic is making a comeback today An important price level has been broken 0.037673 looks to… Read More

21 mins ago

This website uses cookies. We use these cookies to collect data about your interaction with our website for the purpose of continuously improving your experience with our site. For more information we encourage you to read our privacy policy.

Read More