Coinme, a Seattle-based company that operates Bitcoin ATMs, has partnered with coin issuer and kiosk operator Coinstar. From now on, citizens of the United States can buy Bitcoin at “thousands” outlets with cash.
Slot machines become Bitcoin ATMs
Coinstar pursues a business model in need of explanation. The company owns and operates worldwide “20,000 fully automatic self-service coin counting kiosks”. Also in Germany are isolated devices of the provider.
At the said machine people can deposit their small money and pay the amount in bills, donate the money or exchange for a voucher.
The business model seems to be working. Coinstar claims to process around 43 billion coins annually. In addition, the company is so widespread that about 90 percent of US citizens live within five miles of a Coinstar kiosk.
Now, “thousands” of these machines will be used in the US market for bitcoin transactions, according to a January 17 announcement. The devices allow the purchase of Bitcoin for cash up to an amount of 2,500 US dollars. After purchase, customers will receive a coupon to redeem for Bitcoin on the Coinme website. A similar concept is currently being implemented in France.
Jim Gaherity, CEO of Coinstar, commented on the partnership with the following words:
“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to add value to our customers when they visit our kiosks. With Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism and Coinstar’s flexible platform, customers can easily buy Bitcoin in cash.”
According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently about 2519 and thus almost 60 percent of all devices in the US. Although neither Coinstar nor Coinme mentioned a precise number of machines that already support the new feature, this step could multiply the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the country.
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