Dogecoin Comes to US Grocery Stores
Coinstar's big green kiosks that allow converting jugs of change into paper bills can now be used for buying Dogecoin (DOGE) and several other cryptocurrencies, including Stellar Lumens (XLM) and Litecoin (LTC).
The company kicked off its cryptocurrency experiment four years ago after partnering with the Coinme cryptocurrency exchange. Shoppers can trade their cash for cryptocurrencies by creating a Coinme account, or purchasing a crypto voucher for cash at a Coinstar machine.
The machine charges a 4% fee, which makes it a rather expensive way to buy cryptocurrencies. The redemption price can also vary substantially due to Bitcoin's volatility.
One has to verify his or her Coinme account in order to be able to conduct a purchase. Typically, customers are required to upload their driver's license or other document in order to pass the background check.
In October, Walmart quietly deployed roughly 200 Coinstar machines in its stores as part of a pilot program. Coinstar operates a network of more than 9,000 Coinme-enabled machines across the country.
In April, it expanded into Vermont, placing its kiosks at select supermarkets operated by Hannaford, Tops Friendly Markets, as well as at some Shaw's and Star Market stores. Last July, it expanded into Connecticut. Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity claims that customers wanted to see more available coins on top of Bitcoin.