Supermarket Kiosk Chain Coinstar Expands to Over 2,000 US Stores

Coinstar, a supermarket kiosk chain, is growing its bitcoin-buying service to over 2,000 locations in 19 different states.

Made possible through collaboration with blockchain startup Coinme that allows users to exchange cash to bitcoin, the service has grown from previously 70 machines to around 2,100 different kiosks, according to a Coinme announcement on April 24.

According to a press release, although the collaboration initially allowed kiosks in Albertsons and Safeway stores, customers can now have the same buying option in Shaw’s, Jewel, and Save Mart locations.

Jim Gaherity, CEO of Coinstar, said through a statement that his firm witnessed an “extremely positive” response to the initial launch early this year. Coinstar revealed at the time that customers can buy bitcoin using U.S. dollar bills, but coins are not accepted. The firm also mandated a $2,500 limit.

The April 24 press release noted that the collaboration’s initial reveal witnessed a 15 percent week-over-week increase in user acquisition.

Furthermore, Q1 of 2019 “has been one of the most successful in Coinme’s five-year history,” with 92% increase in transaction volume and 109 percent increase in the number of transactions processed, compared to the Q1 of 2018. 

“We are incredibly pleased with this collaboration with Coinme and are eager to continue expanding to new markets in the coming months,” Gaherity said.