ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., the Canada-based owner of Circle K, has struck a deal with Bitcoin Depot to sharply increase the number of bitcoin ATMs in its U.S. and Canadian c-stores to thousands of locations from more than 700 current installments in 30 states.
The deal makes Circle K the first major retail chain to deploy Bitcoin ATMs within its stores, the companies said.
“At Circle K, we are passionate about making our customers lives a little easier every day, and we are continually looking at ways to enhance their experience in our stores and be their favorite stop for a growing range of needs and occasions," said Denny Tewell, senior vice president global merchandise and procurement at Circle K.
“Our partnership with Bitcoin Depot further builds on this commitment, giving our brand an important, early presence in the fast-growing cryptocurrency marketplace as a convenient destination where customers can buy Bitcoin," Tewell said.
Bitcoin Depot ATMs enable users to exchange cash for cryptocurrency, allowing for in-person transactions that give users immediate access to bitcoin and more than 30 other cryptocurrencies. The growth of digital currency has led to large retail companies finding growing interest in bitcoin ATMs.
“We’re thrilled to create a long-term, strategic partnership with Circle K and to expand our footprint internationally with a global leader in convenience and fuel retail," said Brandon Mintz, CEO of Atlanta-based Bitcoin Depot.
“Circle K understands that cryptocurrency will be a growing part of the future economy and payments landscape. By adding Bitcoin ATMs to the company's stores, Circle K can attract new customers to their stores, offer financial access to underserved communities, and set themselves apart from other retailers with this new technology. Through our collaborative partnership, we aim to provide new ways for people to buy bitcoin instantly in a familiar environment in their local neighborhood Circle K,” Mintz said.
The move comes amid growing interest and acceptance of digital currencies. In late May, Sheetz, based in Altona, Pa., said it would enable digital currency payments via Flexa inside its c-stores using bitcoin, ether, litecoin, dogecoin and other digital currencies at select locations this summer, with fuel pump payments to follow later this year.
Circle K Europe is the 2021 winner of the NACS European Convenience Retail Technology Award, recognizing the global retailer’s Pay by Plate payment technology used for fuel purchases. The award, sponsored by Gilbarco-Veeder Root, was presented June 1 during the virtual NACS Convenience Summit Europe.