The loose change in the jar on your dresser can be exchanged at 10,000 Coinstar kiosks in supermarkets and stores nationwide for cash—or, now, crypto.
Coinstar has allowed customers to acquire Bitcoin through its kiosks since 2019 via a partnership with Coinme, a cryptocurrency cash exchange. But as of Wednesday, those same kiosks many have used to exchange coins for cash also can be used to get Ethereum, Dogecoin, Chainlink, Litecoin, Lumens, and Polygon.
“Customers have asked us to make other coins available besides Bitcoin on Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks,” Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said in a statement. “We want to make it easy for anyone, regardless of their familiarity with crypto, to get started with digital currencies with cash in their local grocery stores.”
Those interested in acquiring crypto at a kiosk first must select a special option on the machine. After entering a phone number, they’re asked to insert the amount of cash they’d like to convert and will receive a voucher from the kiosk that includes a code to be redeemed via the Coinme App or website.
Users then are asked for KYC (know your customer) verification—uploading a selfie and a photo of a driver’s license or ID—to create a Coinme wallet, and the crypto is immediately available to be spent or transferred to another wallet.
Buying crypto can sometimes be a complicated experience for those who aren’t technologically savvy, but several products, including Coinstar Kiosks and Bitcoin ATMs, claim to offer customers a better experience. In the U.S. alone there are an estimated 34,000 of these Bitcoin ATMs, according to coinatmradar.com, which tracks the machines.
Coinstar and Coinme have claimed that the Coinme-enabled kiosks are better than Bitcoin ATMs because, among other reasons, the company offers lower fees, and they don’t require users to enter information for a separate crypto wallet.
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