Although the pilot includes only 200 kiosks, the broader launch plans to eventually see the installation of 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the country, according to Bloomberg
Walmart has partnered with coin-cashing machine company Coinstar and crypto-cash exchange CoinMe to install 200 Bitcoin ATMs in its stores across the U.S.
Although the pilot includes only 200 kiosks, the broader launch plans to eventually see the installation of 8,000 Bitcoin ATMs across the country, according to Bloomberg. There has been no further details on timelines as of yet.
According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently over 25,000 Bitcoin ATMs at select grocery stores and service stations in the U.S. Coinstar operates 4,400 kiosks enabled for Bitcoin purchases, across 33 states.
Chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda Sam Doctor told Bloomberg that while Bitcoin ATMs aren’t a new development, and can already be found at many supermarkets.
Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among sceptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot, Sam said.
The Bitcoin ATMs have an 11% surcharge, comprised of a 4% fee for the Bitcoin option, plus an additional 7% cash exchange fee.
As a point of comparison, popular crypto trading platforms Binance and Coinbase charge 3% to 4.5%, and 3.99% for debit and credit card purchases respectively. It is free to make a direct deposit from a bank account to a Binance or Coinbase wallet.
The news was welcomed as a sign of mainstream adoption by some, including influencer Lark Davis who said: Walmart selling Bitcoin now… cool!
However other users complained about the high fees.
BTC ATM fees are notoriously high plus the ‘current’ BTC price is always way higher when buying and lower when selling, tweeted datcyberguy in response to the news.
It’s a ripoff, but at least it’s a sign of adoption — they think some people might want BTC enough to pay huge fees, commented Reddit user Axatar.