The American retail behemoth Walmart has begun a crypto pilot that involves installing bitcoin (BTC) using ATM machines at 200 of its outlets in the United States.
A spokesperson for the retailer stated that the pilot had “begun earlier this month.”
However, as it’s usual for BTC ATMs, it’s a low-cost process. The ATMs reportedly charge a 4% fee for buying bitcoin, and a 7% cash exchange fee.
Bloomberg quoted Sam Doctor, the Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Research at the crypto brokerage BitOoda, as calling the move “an expensive way to buy bitcoin,” but agreeing that it “lowers the barriers to entry for first-time buyers of crypto.”
“Walmart expands bitcoin access to more people,and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot.”
Walmart has long held an interest in crypto and particularly blockchain technology: In 2019, nine of its blockchain-related patent applications were revealed in a single day, and the firm was among the first major American retailers to pilot blockchain-powered food traceability solutions.
In August this year, the company posted a job ad for a new Digital Currency and Cryptocurrency Product Lead.
And last month, Walmart denied reports that it had struck a deal with the operators of the litecoin (LTC) token after a fake press release, whose authors are unknown, duped media giants such as CNBC and Reuters.