Financial services company Coinme has announced a partnership to sell Bitcoin (BTC) at coin-counting kiosks owned by Coinstar, at hundreds of Albertsons and Safeway stores.
Coinme, which was the first BTM operator to receive a license in the U.S. in 2014, will reportedly add thousands of locations via the move, which has already seen integrations go live.
Coinme Co-founder and CEO Neil Bergquist said he hopes wider availability will increase consumer acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency.
"With bitcoin, it's this new magic internet money— it doesn't really have a face," Bergquist said in Seattle. "It's been hard to establish trust with the mass market."
"But now you can walk into your neighborhood grocery store with Coinstar — a company that's been around for 20 years, is worth over a billion dollars — and now you can buy bitcoin on that kiosk instantly in a trusted method," Bergquist added. "It really helps bridge that gap."
With 20,000 machines around the world, Coinstar operates a pretty huge network that could be enabled to dispense digital currency. As the company’s announcement states, there are “thousands in the U.S. market that can be enabled to accept Bitcoin transactions” though we’d guess it won’t hit those numbers for a while.
Coinme has digital currency ATMs in 11 states, including multiple locations in Texas, Washington, and California, among others. While it’s not initially clear exactly how many machines will become Bitcoin-ready, Coinme’s site also states that the partnership will result in “thousands of places to buy Bitcoin.”