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This Controversial Item Is Now Available at 10,000 Grocery Stores

Get ready to open your wallet.

Grocery store staples include things like bread, milk, eggs, fruit, and more, but there are some items that are found in most supermarkets across the country. ATMs are scattered near entrances and parking lots, as are coin machines that have been turning cents into dollars for a fee since the early 1990s. But now 10,000 of these iconic green kiosks can do something else entirely—bringing grocery shopping into the future.

If you have some loose change floating in your couch cushions, you can start saving it to bring to the Coinstar kiosk at your local grocery store in exchange for one of the most controversial items of the last few years. Cryptocurrency has been a hot topic but is now more readily available for those who are not only swapping their cash online. Fortune is reporting that Bitcoin can be purchased with pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters at Coinstar kiosks.

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In order to acquire options like Ethereum, Dogecoin, Chainlink, Litecoin, Lumens, and Polygon, customers must click the option on the kiosk's screen and then insert their phone number. Then they select how much cash they are converting, and are given a voucher with a code that is used online. Once logged on, customers put in a customer identification selfie and driver's license or ID to create a Coinme wallet, which will hold the cryptocurrency.

Grocery Bitcoin

Since 2019, anyone wishing to purchase a little bit of the digital currency could purchase it at the kiosks—but this is the first time physical coins can be used.

"Customers have asked us to make other coins available besides Bitcoin on Coinme-enabled Coinstar kiosks," Jim Gaherity, the CEO of Coinstar, said in a statement, according to Fortune. "We want to make it easy for anyone, regardless of their familiarity with crypto, to get started with digital currencies with cash in their local grocery stores."

Although shoppers can now add Bitcoin to their wallets while also adding grocery items to their cart, there are some items to avoid right now. Several recalls have been issued recently, including on items like frozen pizza and two popular drinks—one for kids and one for milks and protein drinks.

Amanda McDonald
Amanda has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree in digital journalism from Loyola University Chicago. Read more about Amanda