Coinme’s Neil Bergquist Explains Access to Bitcoin Kiosks and More
Bitcoin adoption has reached fever-pitched highs in many parts of the world. In others, not so much. The road to Bitcoin adoption has had to mix with some form of creativity.
Coinme has expressed its creative side using Bitcoin Kiosks as a method of buying Bitcoin.
They recently expanded their kiosks into the US state of Alaska across several towns.
Now, how’s that for creativity!
We liked the story so much that we put our foot on the pedal when reaching out to Niel Bergquist, CEO at Coinme.
Here’s what he told us about the expansion and more.
Congratulations on the Coinme expansion into Alaska! What’s next for Coinme?
We plan to launch more locations through our partnerships with Coinstar and Moneygram across the country. Coinme will also expand internationally and make other cryptocurrencies available for cash purchase and sale.
Please, can you give us details on the locations of the Bitcoin kiosks?
Coinme established 15 Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks in cities including Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau at select Carrs and Safeway grocery stores across the state.
What are the implications of locating new kiosks far off in Alaska?
As the regulated crypto-technology provider to Coinstar, our operation doesn’t include the servicing and maintenance of the kiosks.
Fortunately Coinstar handles that responsibility and has been doing so for over 30 years with 20,000 kiosks globally.
How has the expansion of Bitcoin kiosks enabled the expansion of cryptocurrency access in the past few months?
Broad on-the-ground access contributes significantly to the adoption of any cryptocurrency, mainly by providing cash on-ramps and off-ramps for those who transact in cash or need to turn physical money into crypto or vice-versa instantly.
For example, people see Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks in grocery stores. Although they may not be familiar with bitcoin, they become curious and are willing to try it now that a trusted onramp is available.
What are your thoughts on the recent attempts by world governments to regulate cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies?
Governments have been regulating cryptocurrency since we started in 2014 when we launched the first licensed bitcoin ATM in the U.S.
As the industry grows and more innovative products come to market, regulators are working quickly to catch up and ensure the industry knows how best to operate.
However, it can be challenging for anyone to keep up with what is now technically possible thanks to blockchain technology.
As the world shifts towards digital access to cryptocurrencies and their underlying technologies, what role do cryptocurrency kiosks have in this future?
Cash has the unique benefit of instant liquidity, whereas digital rails often have multi-day settlement delays.
For example, if you buy $1000 of bitcoin at a Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosk, that bitcoin is available in your Coinme wallet immediately after the transaction.
This allows you to send that bitcoin to another wallet instantly.
On the other hand, if you buy $1000 of bitcoin online, there is often a lock-up period before you can send the bitcoin to another wallet.
Additionally, there is over $1T of USD cash in circulation, and it is still the dominant payment type in many economies around the world. We have a long way to go before the world is 100% digital and cash is extinct.
What are your plans for expanding the cryptocurrency offerings at your kiosks?
We plan to offer other cryptocurrencies at Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks in addition to bitcoin for purchase or sale with cash by the end of the year.
So stay tuned; we’ll be sure to share the details when official!
Are you still looking at international expansion? What plans have you made towards this?
We are looking towards international expansion and are working with our partners, Coinstar and MoneyGram, to make this happen.
The first region we’re looking at expanding to is Latin America.
We’ll share more details as they are finalized!
Please, can you tell us more about the Bitcoin purchase process? What have you improved in this process?
Coinme enabled batched sends on our network to reduce the network fees for sending bitcoin.
This allowed us to save our customers money when they sent bitcoin out of the Coinme Wallet.
We also published articles to educate our customers on the fees and why they exist, informing them how they are used to support the bitcoin network itself.
In terms of the bitcoin purchase process, users can purchase bitcoin through Coinstar in four easy steps:
- E-Crypto News:
Do you think the world is ready for cryptocurrencies? What are your thoughts about this?
The world is clearly ready for cryptocurrencies as their adoption since bitcoin’s inception in 2009 has been faster than any other technological innovation.
Cryptocurrencies solve a pain point and represent the natural evolution of money for our digital world.
They can be a hedge against inflation as a store of value or a more efficient digital medium of exchange.
Are there any plans to include DeFi tokens in the future as part of your offerings? What are your thoughts on this?
Yes, as long as they pass our legal review process.
How has 2021 been for Coinme?
2021 has been another strong year of growth for Coinme.
In May, we launched our MoneyGram partnership to enable our customers to buy and sell bitcoin with cash at MoneyGram locations across the country.
We also expanded to a total of four states – Alaska, Connecticut, Florida and South Carolina.
Coinme now powers over 14,000 locations to buy and sell bitcoin with cash through our partnerships with Coinstar and MoneyGram.
We’re excited to bring the cash sale and purchase of bitcoin to more people, as this helps the industry get closer to mainstream adoption.
Do you have any plans for new partnerships before the end of the year?
We are always looking towards the future and will keep your readers in the loop on any new partnerships.
What are your thoughts on the prevailing dominance of the cryptocurrency space by Bitcoin? Do you think any cryptocurrency has the potential to overtake Bitcoin?
I’d rather not speculate.
Please, can you tell us more about the Coinme App and Wallet?
The Coinme App offers a secure way to receive, store and send bitcoin, and it also facilitates cash transactions through our partners, Coinstar and MoneyGram.
We power thousands of locations nationwide where anyone can buy and sell bitcoin with cash.
Customers stage their bitcoin buy/sell transaction in the app and complete it at a U.S. MoneyGram location via cash.
The Coinme App also makes it easy to redeem Coinstar vouchers after purchasing bitcoin with cash at one of the 7,500+ coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks throughout the U.S.
Additionally, Customers can track their bitcoin balances and market values with daily, weekly, and monthly market pricing, all from right within the app.
Please, can you tell us more about the vertical integration of consumer products?
Our products are all seamlessly integrated with the customer experience in mind.
Our partnerships with recognized brands like Coinstar and MoneyGram give access to buy and sell crypto with cash within the Coinme App and Wallet, providing simple management and storage of bitcoin.
There’s no need for a person to remember their bitcoin private keys – bitcoin is automatically and instantly available after purchase.
Please, can you tell us more about adplanet (™)
adPlanet is an offering from our partner, Coinstar, that provides an in-store digital advertising platform for brands.
It’s a digital display atop Coinstar kiosks that serves dynamic ads, giving powerful reach to products and services that create more awareness.
The ad network showcases ads from regional and national brand advertisers.
What exactly do “crypto-enable” legacy financial systems mean? What do they do?
Crypto-enabling legacy financial systems means taking the traditional financial services infrastructure that people are already using and integrating them with the Coinme API to offer the purchase, sale and custody of cryptocurrencies.
Do you have any secrets you want to tell us? Care to spill the beans?
Not at this time, but we’ll let your readers know as soon as we have any exciting news or developments to share!
If you had three wishes and a Genie that could make them come true, what would they be for Coinme?
Satoshi donates their bitcoin equally to everyone throughout the world.
All cryptos become carbon neutral.