Access to cryptocurrency, still a relatively new invention, requires some technological knowledge and computer literacy. In order to become more mainstream, however, Bitcoin will have to become more “main street” so to speak. Some crypto evangelists are finding ways to simplify the process of digital asset acquisition, making it easier for the average man or woman to get involved.
Bitcoin Vouchers Sold in Lithuanian Stores and Kiosks
New services offer newcomers to the crypto space an opportunity to buy their first coins on the street. Narvesen, a chain of convenience stores in Lithuania, and Lietuvos Spauda, a local network of press kiosks, are now starting to sell vouchers that can be exchanged for cryptocurrency. The driving force behind the project designed to bring more people into the crypto space is a local startup called Rebiton, Lithuanian news outlet Delfi recently reported.
According to the publication, Rebiton decided to partner with the two companies because of their positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies and the numerous stores they run across the country, which means the vouchers will be available to many potential customers. Buyers can use Rebiton’s online platform to redeem them in a few easy steps or buy cryptocurrency directly with a credit card.
“First of all, this project is aimed at simplifying the possibility to buy bitcoins, even for those who have never done that,” commented Raimundas Asauskas, a representative of the startup. “Despite the still rather high level of speculation involving this virtual currency, it’s obvious now that it will be an indispensable part of both the global financial system and online trade,” he emphasized.
Although Rebiton charges a 6% fee for card purchases and sells bitcoin core at an exchange rate that’s around 500 euros over Kraken’s price (at the time of writing), its service has its strong points. For example, the platform does not require registration and respects user privacy. It provides an easy way to buy small amounts of crypto and won’t ask you to reveal sensitive personal data or provide a copy of your ID.
Rebiton’s vouchers, which you can also buy online, come in 50, 100, and 999 euro denominations. A holder has to share only a valid email and a crypto wallet address to redeem their value. According to Vigintas Bartasevicius, head of the firm that owns Narvesen stores, and Lietuvos Spauda kiosks, Reitan Convenience Lithuania, the bitcoin voucher trading system is targeting the young generation as well.
A similar approach has been employed by another partnership in the Philippines. Abra, a company developing an investment application, has recently joined forces with a local payment services provider, Ecpay, to provide customers with the option to purchase cryptocurrency at 6,000 outlets in the country.
Users of the Abra wallet will have access to Ecpay’s retail outlets across the Philippines, including all stores of the 7-Eleven chain, which is also a partner in the initiative. They’ll be able to buy digital coins from 7-Eleven’s Cliqq kiosks in the stores or through the Cliqq mobile app, the wallet provider announced in a blog post.
The Abra app allows investors to buy, sell, and hold major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash (BCH), bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and litecoin (LTC). They can purchase 25 coins and tokens in total, exchange between any two of the supported currencies, and also hedge their portfolio in stablecoin trueusd (TUSD).
To acquire cryptocurrencies, Abra users need to go to a Cliqq kiosk at any 7-Eleven store in the Philippines or install the Cliqq app. Abra is listed under “Bills Payment” in the menu. You can deposit between 500 and 100,000 Philippine pesos ($9 – $1,900) daily with a 2% transaction fee. After confirming the details, print the receipt and complete the transaction with the cashier. Once the money has been added to your wallet you can convert the fiat to crypto.
Libertyx Maintains Crypto Points of Sale Across US
Rebiton and Abra are just the latest entries in a growing list of companies working to make it easier for newbies to enter the world of decentralized digital currencies. Similar platforms operate elsewhere around the world as well. Libertyx, for example, is based in the United States and advertises itself as “America’s largest network of bitcoin ATMs, cashiers, and kiosks.”
Using its services, you can purchase cryptocurrencies in a variety of ways. To find a traditional teller machine through which you can pay for your bitcoin, use the website’s store locator which will show an ATM near you. The Libertyx website provides step-by-step instruction on how to buy coins from ATMs with a debit card.
Libertyx debit kiosks are another option. They are typically located at convenience stores, check cashing stores, and gas stations. The bitcoin purchase transaction is automated and you’ll complete it using your smartphone. But if you prefer to pay with cash or debit card in person, you can visit a Liberty cashier store, where an employee will help you finalize your purchase.
Other platforms allow you to buy cryptocurrency with a regular bank deposit or money transfer. You can buy both bitcoin cash (BCH) and bitcoin core (BTC) through Bitquick and pay by a cash deposit to a seller’s bank or credit union account or by sending the funds via Western Union and Money Gram. The platform collects a 2% fee for its intermediary services as well as the mining fee for the crypto transaction. Users who would like to preserve their privacy and don’t want to scan their ID have a limit of $400. Bitquick has offices in several major U.S. cities and the capitals of Columbia and Argentina.
Wall of Coins is a cryptocurrency marketplace that provides this type of services on a larger geographical scale. It operates globally connecting buyers and sellers of digital assets across the globe. To buy BCH and other major cryptocurrencies with fiat cash, you need to enter a wallet address, set a fiat amount in local currency and you’ll be provided with a payment option such as Western Union, Money Gram or a retail bank to make the transfer. Wall of Coins uses escrow for the crypto and is a cash-based system for the fiat. It does not accept credit cards in order to protect its sellers.
Bitcoin ATMs Are Always an Option
If you want to buy cryptocurrency with cash, bitcoin ATMs are always a working option. Their number is constantly growing around the world – over 5,500 machines are already in operation, according to data collected by Coinatmradar. Around 2,300 BATMs and tellers across the globe currently support bitcoin cash (BCH) among other leading cryptocurrencies.
Many of these devices not only sell but also buy coins. They can be very useful for travelers who would like to bring their digital cash with them. ATM operators usually charge a fee for their service that can be as high as 10% on the transaction amount. Make sure to always check the cost of your cryptocurrency purchase beforehand.
If you are new to the crypto space and are looking for a safe and secure way to acquire your first coins online, you can purchase bitcoin cash (BCH) and other major cryptocurrencies at buy.Bitcoin.com using a credit card. You can also freely trade your crypto assets on our noncustodial, peer-to-peer marketplace local.Bitcoin.com, which already has thousands of users around the world. Also, register and try our recently launched premier trading platform, exchange.Bitcoin.com.
Do you expect buying cryptocurrency from stores and kiosks to become even more widespread in the future? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Libertyx.
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Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Bulgaria, which sometimes finds itself at the forefront of advances it cannot easily afford. Quoting Hitchens, he says: ”Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.“ International politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.