By Weston Blasi
Coinstar kiosks, which people typically use to trade in coins for paper money or gift cards, will now also be used to purchase bitcoin in some Walmart stores, the company announced.
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“Coinstar, in partnership with Coinme, has launched a pilot that allows its customers to use cash to purchase bitcoin,” Walmart communications director Molly Blakeman said. “There are 200 Coinstar kiosks located inside Walmart stores across the United States that are part of this pilot.”
Coinme is a crypto wallet and crypto exchange firm.
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Walmart shoppers who buy bitcoin at the Coinstar kiosks will be given a voucher that they must then redeem for bitcoin on Coinme — each bitcoin purchase carries a total of 11% in fees: transaction fee of 4% and a cash exchange fee of 7%, according to Coinstar . Fees to buy bitcoin vary by exchange, but at the cryptocurrency exchange , for example, there’s a 2.49% transaction fee to buy bitcoin.
Ironically, Walmart shoppers cannot use U.S. coins to make bitcoin purchases at Coinstar machines — only paper money.
Bitcoin prices reached nearly $67,000 on Wednesday, an all-time high, so people will likely be purchasing fractions of shares from the kiosks. The record came a day after the debut of the first bitcoin-linked exchange traded fund U.S ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF /zigman2/quotes/230440344/composite BITO -6.13% .
Prices of bitcoin have since fallen from its record high and are down 4.21% on Friday. The cryptocurrency is up 80.49% over the past three months, and 373.85% over the past year.