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article imageCoinstar to start selling Bitcoin in grocery stores

By Tim Sandle     Jan 18, 2019 in Business
Coinstar, who provide machines at supermarkets where people can off-load their coins in return for shopping vouchers, are jumping onto the cryptocurrency zeitgeist, and will begin offering the option of Bitcoins for cash.
Coinstar has announced that it has partnered with Coinme, a startup founded in 2014 that operates a small network of cryptocurrency-dispensing automated teller machines around the country. The arrangement will not be, given the value of Bitcoins, for users to pour a few low value coins into Coinstar and be awarded with a virtual Bitcoin. The exchange rate with the U.S. dollar is, at the time of writing, one Bitcoin to 3,609 dollars.
The purchasing of Bitcoin will require the user to provide cash up front into a Coinstar machine. The process is (currently only available in the U.S.):
Go to a type of Coinstar kiosk offering Bitcoin.
Press the “Buy Bitcoin” button.
Review and accept the transaction terms, and enter a phone number.
Insert U.S. paper money into the cash acceptor (any amount up to $2,500).
Receive a voucher with a Bitcoin redemption code.
Visit www.coinme.com/redeem to create a Coinme account or sign in to an existing account to claim the Bitcoin.
In a statement about the new partnership, Neil Bergquist, Coinme Cofounder said: "We’re excited to team up with Coinstar to give consumers a convenient and easy way to buy Bitcoin during the course of their daily routines. Bitcoin is now accessible at your local grocery store via Coinstar kiosks, and this offering will make it even easier for consumers to participate in this dynamic new economy."
To ad to this, Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherit told GeekWire: "“Coinstar is always looking for new ways to offer value to our consumers when they visit our kiosks, and Coinme’s innovative delivery mechanism along with Coinstar’s flexible platform makes it possible for consumers to easily purchase Bitcoin with cash."
TechCrunch questions the launch at this time, when the price of Bitcoin has fallen. It also seems to be taking a chance that people out shop[ping for groceries will feel the urge to spend thousands of dollars on digital currency.
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