Digital currency adoption has experienced an aggressive bull run in the past few years, with more people, corporations, and countries buying into the virtual-decentralized idea, especially the benefits that come with it.
The digital currency adoption crusade has won over a myriad of leading companies all over the world in the past few months, and the world’s largest company by revenue, Walmart, got added to the train.
Walmart Inc announced on October 21 that it will be installing Bitcoin ATM machines across some of its stores in the United States to enable its customers to acquire bitcoin with fiat currency. This announcement came weeks after being involved in a crypto hoax from a fake news publication by GlobeNewswire that suggested a partnership between retail giant Walmart and Litecoin, accepting Litecoin as a payment option in its outlets.
Walmart begins trials, 2.5% installed already
The largest retail chain has kickstarted a pilot program that aids its customers to buy bitcoin at Coinstar set-ups in some of its outlets.
The leading retail network in the United States, partnered with a popular company recognized for its machines that trade traditional coins for fiat currency, Coinstar, and a digital currency fiat exchange firm, Coinme, to provide 8,000 kiosks aiding Bitcoin services across its outlets. The test program involves 200 kiosks currently installed at Walmart stores.
Over 4,000 kiosks are presently operated by Coinstar aiding the buying of bitcoin across different states in the United States, and statistics from Coin ATM Radar reveal there are over 27,100 Bitcoin ATM locations at specific service points and supermarkets across the country.
Crypto enthusiasts suggest that Bitcoin ATM machines have been in trend for a while, but Walmart’s inclusion spreads Bitcoin to a larger reach and strengthens the legitimacy of the cryptocurrency should they proceed beyond the initial trial program.
Walmart’s Bitcoin ATM machine is part of the retail king’s effort to incorporate crypto into its operations, as they have publicly shown they are considering the future of the company with cryptocurrency, through a job advertisement published on their website in August – looking for qualified persons to take the lead in their digital currency inclusion strategy and product development for the corporation, while spotting crypto-related opportunities in the industry.
Bitcoin ATMs continues gaining momentum
Bitcoin has been the dominating digital currency in the market since its inception, setting the pace for the cryptocurrency space and having the most impact on the world. It’s no surprise that Bitcoin ATMs rapidly gained popularity.
Data disclosed by Coin ATM Radar shows the rapid installation growth the Bitcoin Teller Machine(BTMs) have experienced. As of July 1, 2019, the worldwide installation was a little over 5,000. The end of 2020 saw a total of over 12,800 installations. It has since almost doubled this year as there are currently over 30,000 installations worldwide.
The United States of America possesses more bitcoin ATM machines installed than any country in the world, having over 60% of the Bitcoin ATM machines in operation. It comes as no surprise as the country leads in embracing the new technology and integrating it in its economic operations.
By default, all Bitcoin ATM machines enable a user to buy Bitcoin by using either cash or debit card. Now, there are also Bitcoin ATM locations that allow you to sell Bitcoin for cash, making the machines more popular and widely accepted among crypto enthusiasts. Crypto ATMs and Bitcoin are now a thing as having digital wallets.
Are The Charges Worth It?
A current concern in the crypto space is the cost of using a Bitcoin ATM machine. While the idea of Bitcoin ATM machines is welcomed by crypto proponents, the crowd is still concerned about the surcharge that comes with it – some calling it a total rip off, others regarding it as a temporal situation that will change as it continues to be adopted.
The BTMs charges include a 4% usage fee for the Bitcoin option and a 7% usage fee for the cash exchange, bringing it up to 11% in additional charges. In comparison to online transactions, it costs nothing for direct bank deposit into a Binance wallet, and they charge 3.1%-4.4% for card transactions.
Industry observers suggest the devices depend on the surcharges to operate and to allow for modifications along the way. They believe as the Bitcoin ATM market continues to gain, the charges could drop over time as competition between manufacturers could likely drive the fees down in a bid to win over more people to a particular brand.
Whether the charges are currently worth it or not, users get to decide. The Bitcoin ATM prices might be high, but on the brighter side, shows adoption and momentum for the digital currency as there are alternatives to trading platforms like Binance, OkeX, and Redot
A Step in The Right Direction?
The advent of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is one that shook the world and is still shaking it as it has not grown into maturity yet. Eyes continue to be wide open as the potential it holds is enormous and yet to be harnessed fully.
There’s already a shift in how we see and handle money, how we buy and sell. There’s a drastic move from using fiat currency to digital currency, having bank accounts to having digital wallets, using debit cards to using wallet addresses, and the list continues with the multifaceted abilities of wallets and trading platforms like Redot.com. Cryptocurrency has gained worldwide acceptance and adoption, the crypto ATM is just a response to the growing global adjustment.
The introduction of Bitcoin ATM machines makes it easier for people to partake in the revolutionary invention and participate in the economic shift. Walmart joining the list of companies to provide this service to its customers across its network could be deemed a step in the right direction.
As cryptocurrency continues to gain adoption, we’ll see a rise in the Bitcoin ATM industry and more bodies, both governmental and nongovernmental, integrating blockchain technology and cryptocurrency in their daily operations. This trend has come to stay, and observers are eagerly watching the global space to see what new development arises in the crypto news.