A very ‘citizen-facing’ new program to allow Bitcoin purchases at Coinstar supermarket machines is making waves in today’s tech headlines.
TechCrunch is reporting today that with digital currency ATMs in 11 states, a company called CoinMe is due to partner with CoinStar to roll out more Bitcoin ATMs around the country.
“The Coinstar Bitcoin locator tool wouldn’t point us to any local kiosks when we tried, but if you can track one down, buying Bitcoin from the updated machines sounds pretty easy,” writes Taylor Hatmaker. “It’s worth noting that you’ll need cash for the exchange — you won’t be able to trade digital money or credit for cryptocurrency here … After sticking your paper money into one of the machines, the newfangled kiosk will dispense a voucher for a Bitcoin redemption code that points you to CoinMe.”
The idea of dumping all of your sofa change into that familiar CoinStar machine and getting a voucher for Bitcoin is an interesting one – it trades on that idea that one of the main aspects of improving cryptocurrency markets is to open them up to the average Joe, Joe Sixpack, Joe the Plumber, whatever your favorite moniker is – the bottom line is that that average Joe represents almost all of us, statistically, and that opening up the market this way is a big deal.
Word on the street is you can accomplish these transactions with a phone number tied to your purchase. However, one of the issues that these Bitcoin egalitarians haven’t tackled is the current value of one Bitcoin at around $3600. With this in mind, anyone who dumps change into a CoinStar machine will only be buying an infinitesimal fraction of one Bitcoin. Although this is possible on the market, you’d wonder why someone would want to do that, and how the high price of one coin will psychologically affect that market.
For those who are still interested, a guide from Fortune shows how to buy small pieces of Bitcoin down to the tenths or hundredths of 1%.
With Bitcoin currently holding strong around $3600, there’s not a lot of wild swaying one way or another on the market front. You would imagine that having a whole bunch of Bitcoin kiosks in supermarkets around the country is going to promote greater adoption and lead to higher values in the future – so if you feel that’s the case, you might be getting a good entry point right now. How much further can Bitcoin dip without being practically irrelevant? Keep an eye on values next week.