Spare change often ends up in a jar somewhere in your home, only to be never touched again. If you would be able to change those cents into bitcoin, you might accumulate something that will be valuable in the future. This is where the money-change company Coinstar comes in. According to Fortune they are adding bitcoin as an option to their machines.
Normally spare change will be converted into paper money, but soon the Coinstar machines will be able to give consumers bitcoin instead. However, where Coinstar machines allow coins to be converted into dollars, this is not possible with bitcoin. Consumers will only be able to convert paper money into bitcoin. Keep in mind, you’ll receive a voucher, which can be redeemed on the Coinstar website for actual bitcoin!
For the voucher service Coinstar is working with their own daughter company Coinme, which is specialized in bitcoin ATMs. You’ll need a Coinme account to be able to redeem the bitcoin, and you’ll need to leave your phone number when you dump the coins in the machine. So yes, this is not totally anonymous.
If you have a jar full of coins, you will first need to convert to coins into paper money. After that you can exchange the paper money into bitcoin. So in the end you will walk home with a few cents worth of coins and freshly obtained bitcoins… or probably satoshis.
The maximum input is $2500 in paper money. Unless you’re visiting a Coinstar machine with a truck loaded full of coins, exchange that for paper money and then get your bitcoin… we’re sure nobody will ever use this option.
Coinstar operates 20 thousand machines spread out over different countries. You can find Coinstar machines in the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland and Germany. Currently only the machines in the United States will allow the change into bitcoin. Most Coinstar machines are located in California, Arizona, Illinois, Texas and Washington State.
Also published on Medium.