Coinstar hosts over 3,500 Bitcoin ATMs and wants that number doubled as usage grew despite the recent lockdowns that were necessitated by COVID-19.
Bitcoin ATMs provider Coinme will increase the number of its automated BTC teller machines in selected locations, overseen by coin-counting kiosk firm, Coinstar.
According to Coinstar, the plan is to considerably raise the number of Bitcoin ATMs in the U.S. The expansion drive comes amid the company’s revelations that its distribution of the devices had seen a huge uptick despite the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Coinstar has over 3,500 of the Coinme ATMs in its kiosks placed in supermarkets, large shopping malls and pharmacies. Usage for the machines has risen by 40 percent in 2020, the increased adoption now pushing the company to seriously consider additional installations.
As supermarkets and pharmacies have been left open and accessible during global lockdowns, people have taken the opportunity to look at Bitcoin with renewed interest.
Coinstar Head of Product, Michael Jack, has said that plans to double the Coinme Bitcoin ATMs will be finalized in a year. The startup is also weighing options for the possible launch of several machines in the short term, although it hasn’t specified when this is likely to take place.
Coinme has noted that the last two months have seen increased numbers in first-time Bitcoin ATM users. According to the company, about 40 percent of the total transactions recorded in March and April have been from those using the machines for the first time.
On Thursday, Coinme announced that an ongoing Series A financing round had seen it raise $10 million.
Participants in the round include Pantera Capital, Coinstar, Nima Capital, and Blockchain.com Ventures, among others. Pantera Capital led the contributors with a $5.5 million outlay, strengthening its position on the Coinme board.
Paul Veradittakit, an investor and partner at Pantera Capital noted that the venture firm was keen on investing in Coinmeto to help solve “the problem of the fiat-on ramp to crypto.”
He added that the move would enable the platform to continue its work on an API that provides for cross-border payments. Coinme’s API allows it to link its product to any ATM, kiosk (like Coinstar), and merchants.
With Bitcoin and crypto usage in the Latin America region on the up, Coinme has set its target on being the vehicle that helps the seamless transfer of funds. Blockchain payments in the region have grown by 60% since mid-February.