Ryze Recap 6/24: Buying Bitcoin at 20,000 CVS, Rite Aid, and 7-Eleven Locations

It’s Wednesday, June 24th. If you’re new here— Ryze Recaps is a daily newsletter covering the top stories that Bitcoiners need to know in 2 minutes or less.

We’ve got one brief story for you today.

Pharmacies and Convenience Stores Bring Bitcoin to Every Block

Bitcoin ATM, cashier, and kiosk provider LibertyX is partnering with national pharmacy chains CVS and Rite Aid, along with 7-Eleven convenience stores, to bring Bitcoin to over 20,000 brick-and-mortar locations. For a ~$5 fee, consumers will be able to buy or sell Bitcoin using cash and send it to any wallet. Bitcoin ATMs have been growing in popularity and are essential to financial inclusion.

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Why it matters:

  • A growing number of consumers are exchanging cash for Bitcoin at physical locations using services such as those offered by LibertyX. They then send Bitcoin to friends/family or use services that enable them to spend Bitcoin online, such as Bitrefill.

  • Bitcoin ATMs bring internet-based finance to millions of people excluded from traditional financial systems— the unbanked. Just in the US, there are 55 million people who are underbanked or unbanked. Without a bank account, sending money to family and friends, or making online purchases, becomes a hassle. Bitcoin is helping solve this problem.

  • Take Atlanta, where we’re based, as an example. There are over 300 Bitcoin ATMs, mostly inside gas stations and convenience stores in low-income neighborhoods where there are few banks or ATMs. CEO of the Bitcoin Depot, Atlanta’s largest Bitcoin ATM operator, stated, “A large majority of our customers are unbanked people who have been out of the financial mainstream…this gives them the ability to have a digital wallet on their phone.”

The spin:

  • While they do help underserved populations do more with their money, these services aren’t perfect. When you’re paying $5 or more to exchange cash to BTC, and then paying a few percentage points to intermediaries so that you can spend your Bitcoin, the fees add up over time. Companies have to make money, but this makes it expensive to be low-income and excluded. There’s no easy solution.

That said, all Bitcoin adoption is positive adoption. 20,000 pharmacies and convenience stores supporting fiat onramps increases Bitcoin awareness and access for millions of people.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading. We’ll be back tomorrow with another Ryze Recap.

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Written by Ryze Financial— helping you understand and invest in Bitcoin, on your own terms.