Bitcoin is making RI’s first appearance at store currency kiosks


Coinme, a leading cryptocurrency exchange company, and Coinstar, LLC announced last week that the Bitcoin digital currency is now available at more than 45 Rhode Island currency kiosks.

These Bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks are in grocery stores like Shaw’s, Stop and Shop, Eastside Market, and Price Rite. Acting as traditional Coinstar machines, where users can deposit free change in exchange for paper bills, users of Coinme Bitcoin kiosks can deposit money in exchange for Bitcoin. In a process that takes only minutes, users can exchange up to $ 2,500 a day for Bitcoin.

Neil Bergquist, Coinme’s CEO, said in a press release, “The rapid expansion of Bitcoin-enabled Coinstar kiosks means more Americans than ever have the power to invest in digital currencies and contribute their bid in the future of money – even even on a quick trip to the grocery store. ”

But what is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that eliminates the need for any central authority, such as banks, in ensuring safe, verifiable transactions, Bergquist explained. Because Bitcoin does not rely on a centralized system of banking, when one person sends bitcoin to another person, it is broadcast to the entire Bitcoin network.

Bitcoins are not printed, like dollars, but rather are computer-generated around the world. These computers – also known as miners – track the bitcoin transactions. For every transaction that is successfully generated and tracked, the miners receive surplus bitcoin. Bitcoin can be used to pay for things electronically, but unlike using payment services like PayPal or credit card, once the transaction is complete, it cannot be reversed. This unique feature to Bitcoin acts as a security between the owner and potential hackers. Fraud, while still occurring, is minimal, Bergquist said. No transaction can be interrupted on the Bitcoin network, as data is stored on many servers across many computers.

New bitcoins are throwing out every hour, and will continue to do so at a discounted rate until a maximum of 21 million bitcoins have been mined. Currently, there are 18.6 million bitcoins in circulation. Bergquist predicts that the final Bitcoin will be mined in 2140.

According to Bergquist, Bitcoin is accepted on approximately 30,000 traders globally. “I mean I’m sure you could go on the street and ask someone, ‘Hey, would you take my Bitcoin?’ And most people would say yes, ”he said. Some of these merchants include Microsoft, Overstock, Etsy, PlayStation, Xbox, and Expedia.

During the interview on Dec. 10, Bergquist said Bitcoin’s USD value is about $ 18,000 per bitcoin. As announced, Bitcoin’s USD value has risen to $ 23,659 per bitcoin.

While other industries may be struggling during the pandemic, the cryptocurrency industry is booming, Bergquist said. “Our sales have grown tremendously, year over year at around 650 per cent in total Bitcoin sales. But we’ve seen people buy it as a store of value, and then people also buy it as a medium of exchange or for payments. And since Bitcoin has a stable supply, it’s a great store of value. So that’s why many people are buying that in this pandemic age, because as part of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve is printing more money to stimulate the economy. ”

The Bitcoin-enabled kiosks function much like a standard ATM machine or Coinstar machine. The user must first provide his phone number before inserting dollar bills or switching. Instead of that money going into a bank account, the machine will automatically exchange that money for the equivalent amount of bitcoin. At the end of the transaction, the user will receive a redemption code in order to deposit the Bitcoin directly into a digital wallet. The digital wallet can be accessed from anywhere, and checked through a government phone number and ID.

“In my view, and in the organisation’s view, we believe that Bitcoin is a promising store of value, and that people should own some of it in terms of their overall portfolio and asset allocation. Simply because Bitcoin has a stable supply, it is growing in popularity, ”Bergquist said in an interview.

In honor of launching 5,000 kiosk locations nationwide, Coinme hosts a sweepstakes promo and gives away $ 5,000 in bitcoin. To enter, buy bitcoin at any Coinme location before December 31, 2020. To find specific locations of Coinme kiosks or to set up a digital wallet, visit

‘ABOUT THE COIN’: An example of one of the Coinstar kiosks in grocery stores, where consumers can exchange USD for Bitcoin. (Photo courtesy of Coinme.)