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Coinme Surpasses $1 Billion in Retail Sales, Marks a Decade of Championing Crypto Accessibility

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Coinme Surpasses $1 Billion in Retail Sales, Marks a Decade of Championing Crypto Accessibility

Coinme, the cryptocurrency-cash exchange best known for powering thousands of bitcoin ATMs, has reached a milestone in its effort to make crypto more accessible to mainstream consumers. It surpassed $1 billion in retail sales 10 years after its pioneering launch of the first licensed bitcoin ATM in the U.S.

The company was established in 2014, back when one bitcoin cost a few hundred dollars, and it’s since built a reputation for bridging the gap between traditional finance and the burgeoning world of digital assets. What started as a bold experiment has blossomed into a thriving enterprise, boasting an average yearly revenue growth rate of 164% and a footprint that spans over 40,000 physical locations to buy and sell crypto with cash, facilitated through partnerships with heavyweights like Coinstar and MoneyGram.

“We founded Coinme in 2014 because we believed in the power of crypto to help people improve their everyday financial lives,” said CEO and co-founder Neil Bergquist in a statement.

“New technologies and asset classes are usually only available to a select few. True to the servant ethos of bitcoin, we’re pleased to have made bitcoin accessible for all. We’ve weathered many market cycles and are proud to emerge from the recent bear market profitable, growing quickly, and marking a decade of providing dependable retail access to crypto.”

Trust, Access, Simplicity

Coinme’s growth has been fueled by a unique retail-centric approach focused on powering easy-to-access bitcoin ATMs at established locations, such as grocery and convenience stores, where one might exchange quarters for cash. Users can simply deposit cash into the machines like they would a traditional ATM and purchase bitcoin or other tokens — including ethereum, stellar lumens, dogecoin, chainlink, polygon, and litecoin — in just a few clicks.

It’s a value proposition based on accessibility and user-friendliness. “We just want to make bitcoin accessible,” Neil Bergquist emphasizes in a recent interview. “A lot of people hear about it at the Thanksgiving table, but that doesn’t mean they know how to buy it right then and there. You need to have a convenient, straightforward way to buy it.”

This accessibility is achieved through Coinme’s vast network of locations at grocery stores, pharmacies, and retail check-cashing stores nationwide. Bergquist notes that Coinme locations are within 5 miles of nearly 90% of the United States population, a reach that surpasses even the largest private bank ATM networks.

Who Uses Coinme?

Bergquist describes a Coinme customer base with diverse motivations for embracing crypto, including cross-border remittances, payments, and using bitcoin as a store of value.

“There’s a large portion of the market amounting to $50 billion a year of cash that’s sent from the United States to Latin America, and that’s cash-to-cash transactions, which is surprising,” he says. “Well, now you can put that cash into a Coinme location, get crypto, and send that anywhere faster and cheaper than a lot of existing solutions.”

Coinme’s technological innovations have played a pivotal role in enhancing the user experience. The company’s integration of wallets into its kiosks eliminates the need for customers to navigate complex wallet addresses or QR codes, streamlining the process.

“When you put cash in the machine to buy bitcoin, we deposit it into your Coinme wallet. You don’t even need to know what your wallet address is. We handle that complexity, so it feels more like a bank deposit experience,” Bergquist explains.

The company has also developed techniques to batch bitcoin transactions, reducing the cost and time associated with on-chain transactions to make the process more appealing to a broader audience, a feat that Bergquist describes as “unique to Coinme.”

He says, “We handle such a high volume that we can take hundreds of bitcoin transactions and broadcast them to the network as a single transaction, which then takes that $5 to $10 bitcoin blockchain fee and divides it among a hundred, so it reduces the cost to send significantly. That reduces the cost and time of a transaction, and improves the user experience.”

What’s Next?

Looking ahead, Coinme’s established reputation as a world leader in providing bitcoin ATMs could leave it poised to capitalize on emerging trends in crypto, such as broader institutional adoption of digital currencies, and user interface improvements that simplify the underlying complexity of the technology for the user.

As crypto continues to gain wider adoption, the company will look to build on a reputation solidified by a range of mainstream accolades. It ranked first in Washington state as the fastest-growing company by Deloitte Technology Fast 500 in 2021, featured among the top 10 fastest-growing companies in the Pacific Northwest by Inc. 5000 in 2022, and was recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing companies by the Financial Times.

A commitment to regulatory compliance has been crucial in attracting major partners, with the company raising roughly $35 million in funding from industry leaders such as Pantera Capital, Digital Currency Group, Ripple, Circle, Coinstar, and MoneyGram. Coinme has been licensed and regulated for a decade, adhering to stringent KYC (know your customer) and anti-money laundering protocols.

“Coinstar is committed to continuing to offer consumers a bridge to the digital economy, including digital currencies,” said Kevin McColly, CEO at Coinstar, in a statement. “The Coinme and Coinstar collaboration has provided value to both our customers and retailers.”

Lauren Stephanian, general partner of Pantera Capital, an early investor in Coinme, said, “Coinme is a pioneer in driving retail adoption for digital currencies. They have demonstrated resilience and continue to innovate to make crypto more accessible to everyone.

“Its commitment to retail adoption and key partnerships set a new standard for the industry. We proudly support Coinme’s continued growth and contribution to mainstream crypto adoption.”

Global Banking & Finance Review

 

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